This home, built in 1951, has a unique architectural style that reflects the Bay Area’s cultural and artistic atmosphere. Located on a private drive on the Berkeley Hills ridge, this home offers a spacious lot and a panoramic view of the Bay.

However, the original design of the house did not take full advantage of the view, and the connection between indoor and outdoor spaces was limited. The lower floor, which had great potential for natural light and ventilation, was mostly used for storage, workshop, and garage; and the entrance to the house only served the upper level, with no direct access to the lower level.

The design challenge was to create a scheme that minimally altered the structure of the house and preserved the existing building envelope as much as possible. Our design goal was to: relocate the main entrance, open up the house to the stunning view of the Bay, enhance the indoor/outdoor relation, improve circulation to suit modern needs, and integrate the lower floor with the upper floor as additional living space.

With the new design, the living area of the house has expanded from 3,237 sq. ft. to approximately 4700 sq. ft. The front entrance is now at the lower level and leads to a dramatic atrium at an intermediate landing, from which one can go down a few stairs to the lower floor or up to the main floor.

Furthermore, our design created an optimal indoor/outdoor living experience, with decks, patios and a lush garden. The new lower level features an attached two-car garage, a workshop, two bedrooms, a bathroom and a large entertainment room with a kitchenette. The main level has a flexible floor plan that includes 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, a large living room, family room, dining room and a spacious kitchen.

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