The so-called Butterfly House sits at 1051-1053 Francisco St. on Russian Hill, and the views from there are among the best in the city. It's one of a row of multifamily homes built in the 1950s, but this residence was redesigned by noted architect John Maniscalco in the 21st century. What isn't crystal clear is whether it's still multiple homes or just one. The address would have you believe the former, the marketing would make you think the latter. The listing describes the situation as "originally a midcentury, two-unit building with studio apartment" that has been "totally re-imagined by the owners and their team of architects." On Zillow, despite the address, it's listed as a single family home.
Maniscalco features the project on his website, and says the name comes from the idea of moving from an "earthbound experience to the open sky." Walking through the home is to experience a sequence of of relationships to the site. The first floor forms a bond with the street and the garden (created by Surface Design), the bedroom level focuses inward, and the upper levels relate to the sky and views. The idea is reinforced by a wall art installation of blue butterflies that fly from bottom to top.
The upper level is where you'll find a living area, a dining room, and the kitchen. The spaces are covered with large glass doors that slide away to let residents walk out to a narrow deck and views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Bay, the Marin Headlands, and beyond. It makes for a pretty wonderful cocoon, and one with a price tag of close to $10 million.