Tag Archives: Berkeley architecture
A fresh twist on an artfully crafted contemporary home by a Berkeley architecture firm, and a sensitive updating of a historically significant home in our city by another Berkeley architect known for his dramatic modern designs: the result is two stunning homes that are open to the public, with four others, on Saturday, August 10, as part of the American Institute of Architects’ East Bay Home Tour.
It’s the third East Bay tour for the AIA and the theme this year is “Listening to the Past, Designing for the Present.” The six homes on show — one in Berkeley, three in Oakland and two in Lafayette – highlight historic remodels, airy modern houses, sustainable ideas and clever solutions.
Berkeley firm Leger-Wanaselja Architecture were asked to update a home they had built in the hills after the 1991 Oakland firestorm, when it was bought by a new owner who had previously lived in a downtown loft. The architects used exposed wood, steel and concrete give the house a raw, loft-like feel, and created a genuine indoor-outdoor setting through, among other things, a wall of roll-up garage doors. The home, referred to as the Roll-Up House, also has a host of eco-conscious aspects. … Continue reading »
“Shingle Style: Living in San Francisco’s Brown Shingles,” (Rizzoli, 2013), is a new book by Bay Area architects Lucia Howard and David Weingarten, with photographs by David Duncan Livingston. The book showcases 20 Bay Area homes that epitomize the classic brown shingle style and, despite its title, 12 of those homes are in Berkeley.
On Thursday, Aug. 8 at 7 p.m., Howard will host an illustrated lecture on Berkeley’s brown shingle homes at the Anna Head Alumnae Hall at 2537 Haste St., in collaboration with the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association.
Berkeleyside caught up with Lucia Howard to ask her about the book and the beautiful homes it features.
A good number of the homes you feature in your book are in Berkeley. What was it about Berkeley that led to so many brown shingles being built here?
Berkeley was the epicenter of brown shingle architecture. The town’s vibrant mix of professors, writers, artists and free-thinkers drawn together around the University, many of whom pursued what Charles Keeler termed “The Artistic Life,” provided ideal clients for these houses. Built before the silver screen came along to define entertainment, brown shingles were a species of “party house,” designed for people to gather for performances, readings, worship, and events of many sorts. … Continue reading »
An architecturally distinguished mid-century modern home in north Berkeley changed hands this week for the first time since it was built in 1952. It sold for just over $1 million.
The Kip House, at 775 San Diego Road, was designed by architect Donald Olsen and is located across from John Hinkel Park.
Olsen was a professor at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. His home, which is next door to the Kip House and is of a similar design, was landmarked by the city in 2009. … Continue reading »
Berkeley Built is an occasional series in which Berkeley’s David Stark Wilson of WA Design takes a look at a notable Berkeley structure or building.
I’ve always been a fan of Maybeck’s work and this building is no exception. These images show the interior and exterior street entrance of a home Maybeck designed for J.H. Senger, a professor of German language at UC Berkeley.
The exterior of the home is a mixture of brown shingle and the medieval half-timbering seen in these images. Maybeck is remarkably playful in his use of different window motifs all tightly composed in this one façade. The original bright blue of the front door and the stenciling further demonstrate Maybeck’s often whimsical approach. … Continue reading »
The American Institute of Architecture San Francisco announced the winners of its annual Design Awards on Friday and two Berkeley names made the grade.
The renovation of Berkeley’s North Branch Library on The Alameda, by San Francisco firm Architectural Resources Group and Tom Eliot Fisch, earned a Merit Award for Historic Preservation. “This publicly funded project preserved, expanded, and updated the City of Berkeley’s beloved 1936 North Branch Library on The Alameda,” AIA SF wrote in its award list. “The $4.5 million, LEED Silver project included rehabilitation of 5,700 sq ft of historic spaces and a new 3,900 sq ft addition and was completed in 2012.”
It was the second architecture award for the North Branch Library this month. It was also one of nine Berkeley buildings recognized for representing the best recent design work in Berkeley by Berkeley Design Advocates in early April. … Continue reading »
Nine buildings have been singled out as representing the best new design work in Berkeley for 2010-2012. Berkeley Design Advocates, a volunteer group of architects and urban planners, selected three UC Berkeley buildings, a restaurant, a senior home, two retail spaces — one newly built, one restored — a wine store, and the renovation of a branch library from a list of 15 submissions, and handed out the award certificates at a ceremony on Thursday, March 28. (See the 2013 Awards Brochure for full details.)
This year threw up a particularly impressive crop of winners, according to Anthony Bruzzone, President of BDA, who said that two years ago, with the recession having put the kibosh on many construction projects, the group was concerned it might have no buildings to consider at all in 2013. … Continue reading »
Joanne Koch knew it was a tall order: she wanted a mid-century modern home in Berkeley within walking distance of a Peet’s. Even her realtor told her she might have to revise her thinking. Most homes built in that period are perched in the hills to take advantage of their inherent indoor-outdoor design and to offer the best views of the bay.
But the Berkeley architect struck lucky. In 1999, a level-in home designed in 1952 by the well-regarded Bay Area architect Roger Lee came on the market. The 1,125 sq ft home needed attention, but this was not a deterrent for Koch who had the remodeling chops, as well as a passion for mid-century homes. She and her husband snapped it up for $365,000 and moved in with their young daughter. The icing on the cake? The house is three block’s from the original Peet’s on Vine Street.
Berkeley Built is a new occasional series in which architect David Stark Wilson of WA Design takes a look at a notable Berkeley structure or building. He begins by considering an industrial structure not far from his practice in West Berkeley.
These sand hoppers are at the Monterey Sand Company plant on Second and Cedar streets in Berkeley. I included this image as the only urban structure to appear in my 2003 book, “Structures of Utility” (Heyday Books) and explained why:
I became captivated by the agricultural buildings that punctuate the landscape of the Central Valley. The vertical forms of grain elevators, like erratics deposited by a long-receded glacier, interrupt the valley’s level terrain… The elevators are equaled in eccentricity by oversized storage sheds housing lanky, intricately evolved agricultural machinery. In the foothills, long-abandoned mines reveal only their head frames, an extension of the mines’ subterranean architecture… Their origins were in simple utility, in adaptation to functional requirements, yet they had attained an elusive and austere elegance. … Continue reading »
Chances to buy — or at a minimum see inside — a Bernard Maybeck designed home in Berkeley come along rarely. The Kennedy-Nixon house at 1537 Euclid Avenue in north Berkeley has just gone on the market.
The landmarked home, which was built in 1914 (and quickly rebuilt in 1923 after it burned down in the devastating Berkeley fire of that year), is priced at $1,995,000. The home has had only three owners since it was built, and it has stories to tell.
The Nixon family built it as a live-in studio for their daughter’s piano teacher, Alma Kennedy. It was designed to include a recital hall, a waiting area for students’ parents, a reception room with a small kitchen and an upstairs sleeping quarters. The recital hall, with its cathedral windows and clear-heart unfinished redwood paneling, is particularly arresting. … Continue reading »
A group that worked to place Berkeley Iceland on a city list of historic places is circulating a ballot measure that calls for the city to consider including a recreation space in any future development.
Members of Save Berkeley Iceland started collecting signatures on the measure on March 31 and hope to gather 3,000 signatures by May 10. If they are successful, the measure would go on the November ballot.
The measure would set city policy so that when any plans for the property come before the City Council or any commission, policy makers would have to consider the need for community recreation in their decisions, said Tom Killilea, the president of Save Berkeley Iceland. … Continue reading »
In a top-secret location in Berkeley, Patrick Kennedy is showing a reporter around a tiny living space — so compact in fact that, at 160 sq ft, it is the smallest apartment one is legally allowed to build.
“It is how small you can go without causing psychological problems,” jokes Kennedy, who, through his company, Panoramic Interests, is responsible for developing swathes of Berkeley. His projects include the Gaia Building on Allston Way, the Berkeleyan Apartments on Oxford Street, and the Touriel Building on University.
The “bijou” apartment in which we are standing, with its trompe l’oeil view of the Bay Bridge, is the prototype for the SmartSpace, a largely prefabricated, furnished space that, when multiplied and stacked together like Lego blocks, creates a fully fledged apartment building. … Continue reading »
The Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association‘s annual Spring Tour, which takes place on Sunday May 8, will this year be devoted to the villas of the Arlington Heights neighborhood in north Berkeley.
Always a popular event for architecture enthusiasts, the tour will include homes designed by architects including Bernard Maybeck, Edwin Lewis Snyder, Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr., John Hudson Thomas, Sidney & Noble Newsom, Henry H. Gutterson, Joseph M. Walker, and Rowland & Rowland.
The hilly neighborhood east of … Continue reading »
Last Sunday, a house went on a journey across Berkeley. To be precise, it was half a house, the top half, and eagle-eyed Berkeleyans may have spotted it making its way, slowly, at walking pace, from Albany Village into Berkeley on 8th Street, then down Gilman, down 6th onto University and then along Sacramento until it reached its new home on 62nd Street.
The house belongs to Tom White and Dmitri Belser who bought it for $16.00 from UC Berkeley in 2009 after it was advertised on Craigslist and Ebay.
Known as the Cheney Cottage, it is the smaller of two properties originally located at 2241 and 2243 College Avenue on the Cal campus and built by journalist and real-estate agent Lemuel Warren Cheney. The larger of the two homes, the Cheney House, was demolished in March 2010 after the university failed to find a buyer for it. Built in 1885, the Cheney House was believed to be the second oldest surviving structure in the Berkeley Property Tract. (Read the full history on the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association website.) … Continue reading »