131 Tamalpais, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Ana Forest, Red Oak

Our featured home today is another of Louise Rigg’s carefully crafted residences. Rigg’s homes are generally recognizable by their dramatic living room space that features a familiar combination of suspended stairway, hearth, and glazing. This particular example was built for Rigg’s own family demonstrating that she truly did live her design ideals.

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32A Sunset, Kensington

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Ruth Frassetto, Compass

This unusual Kensington home is the work of highly inventive East Bay architect John Rolf Hattam. It is a particularly creative postmodern take on art moderne revival with shingles thrown in for good measure. Hattam’s designs are notoriously imaginative from his earliest work in the 60s to more recent commissions like this one. Here he has created a home that is imbued with the essence of the circle inside and out.

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1357 Glendale, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Craig Ackerman, Proof

There is no mention of it in the listing but this modest Berkeley home is part of the original cluster of A-Frames designed and built by the father of the modern A-Frame, Wally Reemelin. Reemelin built his first A-Frame in the Berkeley Hills in 1948. Of course there was no indication at that time that the simple structure he built to rent to students at the university would become the vacation home phenomenon that it is today. This one needs a bit of love but presents a rare opportunity to own a real piece of local architectural history.

Posted in A-Frame, Architect-Designed, Mid-Century, Wally Reemelin | 3 Comments

1419 Summit, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Bebe McRae, Grubb

Today we feature a nicely appointed Berkeley mid-century attributed to Walter Thomas Brooks. The home was built in 1948 which was about a decade before Brooks’ first design was constructed so it is likely that Brooks may have renovated the home at some point rather than having been the original architect. The interior detailing would suggest that a significant rehab of some sort may have taken place sometime in the 1980s so it is possible that is when Brooks was involved. Regardless of authorship though, the home is a delightful piece of architecture with plenty of exposed wood and thoughtfully organized interior spaces that are clearly the work of at least one talented designer.

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564 Dwight Place, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Nancy Noman, Compass

Today our featured home is a rustic mid-century post and beam nestled in the hills above Berkeley. Nearly every exterior wall in the house is glazed which creates an amazing continuity between the interior and the remarkably private setting outside. Where the home is not glass it is clad in redwood, the warm tones of which are another consistent feature inside and out. No hint about the architect is provided in the listing, but the considered spaces and thoughtful detailing are obviously the work of an accomplished designer.

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107 Panoramic, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Judith Ratcliffe, Grubb

Our featured home today is an unusually creative Mediterranean revival at the base of Panoramic Hill. It is attributed to Miller and Warnecke who were extremely prolific and successful designers in a variety of period revival styles. Their homes are uniformly beautiful but they are not generally known for being especially inventive which is why this particular example is so interesting. Here the living spaces are spread across a multitude of levels that seem to tumble down the hill making for a decidedly unconventional interior experience.

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550 Highland, Danville

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Karen Elahi, Golden Gate Sotheby's

This intriguing Danville residence was designed by Roger Lee for Paul and Eleanor Shipley. Lee had a reputation for paying special attention to the custom hearths he created for his clients and this particular home includes three distinctive fireplaces, each one a unique interpretation especially suited to its location.

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97 Franciscan, Kensington

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Anne Politeo, Red Oak

This modest mid-century glass box is one of four homes that were built on a single lot by local East Bay design-builder Donald Ross. Ross was a well known photographer who built these homes as a source of rental income to support his art. The cluster was originally organized a bit like a modernist bungalow court, but the lot was subdivided sometime in the last couple decades and now the homes can be sold individually.

The structure is notable for its simplicity and purity of design. It is an early example of Ross’s work yet its lack of unnecessary ornament and clarity of vision demonstrates a great deal of maturity packed into a compact space.

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2967 Avalon, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Jenny Wang, Golden Gate Sotheby’s

Today we feature a sizable and highly symmetrical colonial revival residence. This one was reportedly designed by Edward Seely for well-to-do Berkeley builder J A Marshall. Seely favored the gable roof and here he has blessed the home with two front facing gables as well as a shed dormer over the front door. Inside the home is lavishly appointed with ornate wood embellishments and grand public spaces.

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50854 Partington Ridge, Big Sur

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Ben Heinrich, Coldwell Banker

Today we travel a bit further afield to feature an extraordinary residential compound in Big Sur. The homes in question were designed by local legend Mickey Muennig for his own family and they epitomize the highly innovative approach Muennig takes to architecture. His organic forms have come to represent the spirit of Big Sur perhaps more than the work of any other architect and it is easy to see why given the immense creativity on display here.

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