A Peek Into the 
San Francisco Clouds 1

Choreography for an Ultra-Contemporary Lifestyle

I t is easy to become disoriented when the fog rolls in on the San Francisco Bay, especially if you’re in a penthouse quite literally in the clouds. When a San Francisco couple decided to create a retirement condo to showcase their extensive art collection, they hired Mosaic Architects and Interiors—a boutique firm with offices in Boulder and San Francisco—to bring their vision to life.

Three waterfront, high-rise condo units sharing an elevator lobby were gutted and converted into one floor plan perfectly designed for the couple’s lifestyle. Rather than viewing the city’s fog as a challenge to conquer, Mosaic and the clients chose to incorporate the landscape and skyline as the primary works of art, while also displaying select pieces from the couple’s collection. The result is stunning white-on-white in a calming and contemporary style not bound to any time period.

The clear distinction found in typical homes between walls, ceilings and cabinetry was intentionally blurred to create a seamless flow throughout the unit. Mosaic choreographed every aspect of the way the couple would live through careful selection and placement of lighting and use of proportions. A mixture of matte and high-gloss surfaces—from the etched mirror backsplash in the kitchen to an automobile-grade powder coat finish on cabinets and plumbing fixtures—adds to the texture and reflective glow of each room.

Stefan Eder, Mosaic partner and lead architect/designer on the 3,000 square-foot project, says the condo feels different every day because of changes in how natural and artificial light behaves in the space. This was intentional in the design, which includes hidden fixtures and illuminated mirrors, as well as color-changing LED light accents and a custom illuminated glow box made of 3-Form Chroma resin in the kitchen.

“Lighting is one of the few languages we can speak when white is the only color,” said Eder.

The furniture chosen for this project adds another source of color and interest. Mosaic and the client wanted furnishings true to the 1960s construction of the building, so they consulted with the folks at Knoll, a furniture maker and fabric company, for recommendations on original fabrics and styles. Platner sofas and chairs were selected for the main living area, and Barcelona chairs offer a seating area from which to take in the ethereal views.

Eder and business partner Jane Snyder have worked together for nearly 20 years. A native of Germany, he manages the San Francisco office while Snyder runs the Boulder office. Together, they participate on most initial client meetings offering complementary styles and personalities. Snyder says Mosaic has been successful all these years due to their geographic diversity, strong balance between the technical and artistic aspects of the business and the great designers and craftsmen with whom they work.

“We also have a lot of fun designing spaces that have proper proportions and flow and just feel good,” Snyder says.

“We also have a lot of fun designing spaces that have proper proportions and flow and just feel good,” Snyder says.