Real Estate

Home for sale: Understatement not included

For sale: the three-bedroom, three-bathroom "castle" at 1985 Tunnel Road, designed in 1996 by Ace Architects

It’s going to take someone with a certain je ne sais quoi to buy the newly listed home at 1985 Tunnel Road ($998,000). Someone who says “‘pah’! to minimalism, enough with discreet style, who cares about low-key elegance and understatement? I want to live large.”

This home has a circular master bed, no less, gold leaf galore and two enormous, trumpet-like towers jutting over its roofline. It’s not a house to go unnoticed.

The home has twin trumpet towers

The three-bedroom, three-bathroom house was built in 1996, rising from the ashes of the Oakland-Berkeley Firestorm — one of thousands of new-builds which came in all shapes and, mostly big, sizes.

It was designed by local firm Ace Architects (who refer to it as “Tunnel Road Castle” on their website) for a jazz musician, according to David Kirp, who wrote about the post-fire architecture for Harper’s. “The firm provided a residence painted in Day-Glo colors, with a megachimney that mimics the curved bell of a mammoth saxophone and twin star towers shaped like trumpets tooting at the sky,” he said.


When it was on the market last year, SF Curbed writer Philip Ferrato described it as “late period Shagalicious”, a “reprise of the Streamline Moderne/Art Deco impulse, reinterpreted for the Disco Era ten years too late”.

The open-plan master bedroom has a circular bed and gold leaf detailing on the ceiling

At that point, the house was bank-owned and had suffered water damage, according to Ferrato. It was listed at $599,000 and sold in March of this year for $560,000.

Today, the listing agent describes the home as a “handsomely re-tuned and redone contemporary masterpiece in close-in Claremont Hills location with a ‘whimsically inspired design'”.

The next open house is on Sunday November 6th, 2-4:30 pm.

[Hat tip: Ira Serkes.]

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