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Butler Armsden Architects

San Francisco
Photo: Joe Fletcher

Regions Served

  • San Francisco & Bay Area

Butler Armsden designs result from a true collaboration between architect and owner. We begin with our clients’ visions and then translate them into refined architectural concepts through an exceptionally personalized design process. The results are houses which not only are responsive to their owners’ needs, but also exceed their expectations with the highest standard of architectural design. In our projects we strive for the optimum use of materials, architectural forms, space and light to create architecture that will contribute to and fit seamlessly into its surroundings.

Drawing from an architectural vocabulary that is uniquely our own, we design homes as individual as each of our clients.

Designing a home is an exciting, challenging, and often, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Butler Armsden is dedicated to the finest in residential architecture and strives to make every collaboration with our clients creative, inspiring, and rewarding. We understand that the most successful houses grow out of open, forthright partnerships between architect and owner.

To help our clients visualize the evolution of their designs, we use whatever techniques are most instructive, from hand rendering to the most advanced computer-aided visualizations, to three-dimensional scale modeling.

We are our clients’ advocate throughout construction, painstakingly watching over even the smallest details. We are there on move-in day, making sure that the only surprises are good ones, and for years to come, providing whatever support our clients need.



(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)




  • Lewis Butler


  • 1420 Sutter Street
    First Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94109
    T 415-674-5554 | F 415-674-5558

Featured Projects

Valley of the Moon Retreat

This AIA award-winning Sonoma residence reinterprets the wonderful spaces of the original Spanish haciendas of Mission-Era California using a truly modern vocabulary. Situated in the Valley of the Moon between the historic Sonoma Plaza to the southeast and Jack London’s former estate to the west, this house adopts the courtyard model popularized in the early architecture of the area. Earning a LEED Silver designation, the house uses the oldest of methods to conserve energy through overhangs and siting to capture the prevalent valley breezes, while also utilizing the latest in technology to generate electricity and hot water. For the owners, a couple with young children, the house will serve as a sustainable family retreat for decades to come.

(Visited 210 times, 2 visits today)
Photos: Joe Fletcher

Atherton Home

This gently sloped 1.75 acre lot in Atherton provided a rare opportunity to create a contemporary courtyard house that also has commanding views of the surrounding hills. The pleasantly varied massing and simple wood siding gives this house the look and feel of a structure that has evolved over time, while remaining contemporary and fresh. Board formed concrete lower walls and a metal standing seam roof add to the natural feel of the exterior. Upon entering the house, a gallery runs east to west, linking a spacious living and dining area. Collapsing 40-foot wide doors open up to the courtyard, creating an indoor/outdoor entertaining space. Outside, one can take in the view of the surrounding oak trees, which were carefully preserved on the property. Visitors can stay in the guest house across the courtyard, which features a luxurious spa.

(Visited 210 times, 2 visits today)
Photos: Bernard Andre

Portola Valley Courtyard House

A rolling two acre lot in Portola Valley provides an ideal site for this informal residence that was designed to reference early California architecture as well as the clean lines and modern amenities of 21st century design. Collaborating closely with the owners, Butler Armsden settled on a courtyard scheme that embraces the site, maximizing wonderful views and enhancing the natural indoor/outdoor living environment. Materials were chosen for their elegant and timelessness. The exterior showcases stucco on the walls and chimneys, steel windows and doors topped off with a copper roof. The interior is finished with natural woods, stone and plaster. Butler Armsden also oversaw the selection of all interiors furnishings and finishes.

(Visited 210 times, 2 visits today)
Photos: James Carriere

Buena Vista Park Residence

This family residence dating back to 1906 is perched on a hill in the geographic center of the city, opposite San Francisco’s oldest park and with views stretching to the Farallons. The original four rooms of the main floor were combined into one 40 x 50 foot great room for a family of six to gather in with their extended family and friends. A large set of accordion doors allows the great room to open completely to the western view, creating a dramatic indoor/outdoor living arrangement rarely experienced in the city. The owners are a dynamic and international couple, and the interiors and art in this home reflect their forwarding looking taste. Butler Armsden’s interior design team worked closely the clients and their art consultant to integrate the architecture, interiors, and art into one vision statement. Butler Armsden also designed the landscaping at the rear yard, which takes the form of an amphitheater. This area provides a wonderful opportunity for outdoor recreation, performances and gatherings, and also houses a basketball court and zip line area.

(Visited 210 times, 2 visits today)
Photos: Patrik Argast

Coverage on Remodelista & Gardenista