Fu-Tung Cheng and his design team were asked to bring a fresh perspective to this otherwise traditional, high-rise condominium remodel located in the heart of downtown San Francisco. The main goal of the project was to combine two units into one view-studded home. Areas redesigned included the entry foyer, kitchen, bath, and creating a new master wing with bedroom, bathroom, library and walk-in closets.

Though the client was initially reticent about a “modern” aesthetic, the design approach thoughtfully transformed traditional elements (closed spaces, molding and wallpaper) into reconfigured spaces for flow and function. The home breaks from traditional molding and now uses various woods and textured materials to create tactile surfaces and warm spaces.

Examples of moving traditional materials and design into a “comfortable modern” arena are the antique tansu in the kitchen and shoji screens in the master bedroom. To modernize its use, roll up doors and pull-out drawers were added to the kitchen tansu and a new surface slab of river-washed granite was installed—a perfect example of an antique with strong history brought into a modern functionality with just subtle changes in detail. Cedar was used for the modern take on the 10 ft. wide shoji panels in the bedroom, another example of a traditional idea with a new material interpretation.

Concrete countertops and island in the kitchen, as well as the integrated bathroom concrete countertop-sinks were all custom designed and fabricated by CHENG Design’s Geocrete Shop.


Project Scope: Remodel of a high-rise luxury condominium in three phases to merge two units into one
Location: San Francisco, CA


AIA San Francisco
Small Firms, Great Projects, 2012

31st Annual Builder’s Choice Design and Planning Awards, Builder Magazine
Merit Award: Interior Architecture