Bright Lights

Big Kitchen

Designer Jennifer Weiss knows that artfully updat­ing a pearl of mid-century design means discerning when to respect what's there and when to forge into the next century. Her thesis at Harvard's Graduate school of Design was on reworking modernist archi­tecture, nicely situating her to refresh and add on to a boxy, L-shaped San Francisco bungalow from 1951 by influential Bay Area architect William Wurster. Her clients, Rebecca Handler, a fund-raising con­sultant, and her husband, David Andrade, a finance professional, had lived with their two daughters for about a decade in the 1,700-square-foot home before considering alterations. Though the need for a new kitchen was pressing-the oven hadn't worked in a year-Handler and Andrade worried that chang­ing the space would mean losing original details, like the signature vertical-board redwood walls and the small, humanistic scale that Wurster favored. They need not have feared, however, because Weiss's careful interventions maximized what they already had-stellar views and a charming courtyard-while adding a new foyer, some additional square footage, a new wall of glass, and updated fixtures. Fittingly enough, Weiss's work is entirely in keeping with one ofWurster's great declarations: "Architecture is for life and pleasure ... and for people."