A 1,277 sq. ft. structure built in 1921; this home represents a typical house of its time in the Berkeley hills. The original design had a utilitarian floor plan, inward layout with no indoor/outdoor connection, except for the poorly attached rear deck. The lower level included a large crawl space with a small bathroom and a sub-standard ceiling height, and the arrangement of the rooms did not take advantage of the outstanding Bay views.
Due to the view ordinance in City of Berkeley, we had to keep the house at the existing height while increasing living space with a maximum of 600 sq. ft. of addition, permitted by the City. Our design goal was to keep the original location of main entrance, open the view of both floors to the Bay, enhance the indoor/outdoor relation, improve circulation to accommodate contemporary needs, and connect the lower floor to the upper floor and use it as additional living space.
Once redesigned, the living space increased to approximately 2,800 sq. ft. The front entrance opens at the main level onto a large foyer with a high ceiling, which also provides easy access to the lower floor via a stairway. The main level includes a master bedroom and master bath, a bedroom and bath for a younger child, a spacious living room and a dining room with a view of the Bay, and an open kitchen with large sliding glass doors leading to a beautiful patio for outdoor dining. The lower level includes two additional bedrooms, and a play room for kids which opens to a rear deck/ yard. The new design created an excellent indoor/outdoor living, with a deck at the master bedroom facing the Bay, and a kitchen patio surrounded by a beautiful landscape.