101 Greenbank, Lafayette

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Marques Buck, BHG Reliance

Our featured home today is a massive Lafayette mid-century reportedly designed by Ian MacKinlay who is another of the many great local designers that came out of the architecture school at UC Berkeley. The firm that he founded in the late 50s in Oakland is still operating today even though he has long since moved on to other ventures. This particular home is on a scale not often seen in residential design and Mackinlay has used steel and glass to create wide open volumes that blur the distinction between inside and out. The spare interiors juxtaposed with the blocky rough stone and wood exteriors make the home a quintessential expression of late 60s modernism.

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2708 Virginia, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Norah Brower, Compass

The Bray house began its life as a modest shingled bungalow, but several years after it was built it was purchased by John Hudson Thomas’ sister and her husband. Together, they undertook a significant renovation in the early 20s which would impart on the home all the familiar hallmarks of Thomas’ inimitable style that we see today. The home has reportedly remained in the same family since that time which has resulted in an exceptional level of preservation throughout.

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6580 Oakwood, Oakland

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Maria Blengino, Wells & Bennett

Michael Pearce has spent most of his career in Southern California with a few exceptions. Though his recent work seems to have moved away from the eye-popping postmodernism of this large Oakland Hills home, he was obviously quite comfortable with the style when it was popular in the late 90s. The house is a playfully assembled grouping of shapes and colors with small punch windows and whimsical rooflines and cantilevers. Of particular note is the exceptional staircase which is encased in a corncob shaped turret that is attached to the rest of the house by a glazed walkway.

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1069 Nielsen, Livermore

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Diane Sass, RE/MAX Accord

Livermore is not particularly known for good modernist residences, but there are a few nice examples sprinkled around town. The home we feature today is certainly among them. It is a thoughtfully composed post and beam with large expanses of glass looking out across the shallow reflecting pool that wraps around two sides of the living room. Quite a rare treat in the Eastern most part of the Tri-Valley area.

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170 Tamalpais, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Julie Nachtwey, Compass

Louise Rigg was an interior designer by trade but she was also responsible for designing and building at least 13 homes in collaboration with local architects. Her trademark was a suspended stairway which was usually hung from the ceiling by cables but sometimes was only attached to a wall on one side with no other means of support. Her innate ability to create memorable spaces is apparent in all of her homes but this particular example is especially well preserved allowing a rare peek at her work as it was originally intended.

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3541 Dwight, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Mary Canavan, Grubb

Our featured home today is a lovely Bay Region mid-century designed by Robert Ratcliff. Robert was the eldest of Walter Ratcliff’s children and would eventually be heir to the Ratcliff architecture dynasty, but in the early 50s he was mostly tasked with designing houses while his father and longtime partner Scott Haymond took on the larger commissions. This was a great boon to local fans of domestic architecture as his immense talents were dedicated to many impressive homes throughout the hills of Berkeley and Oakland.

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4036 Happy Valley, Lafayette

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Ashley Battersby, Village Associates

This sizable late mid-century residence is made up of a series of asymmetrically gabled pavilions connected by flat roofed corridors. The home is one of a number of thoughtful Lamorinda homes designed by local architect Ian Mackinlay. Mackinlay’s productive relationship with several local custom builders in the area during the 60s and 70s allowed him a great deal of freedom to experiment with novel forms and challenging sites. The results remain impressive today.

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1 Dead Horse Canyon

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Suzanne Geoffrion, Coldwell Banker

Today we feature an intriguing Third Bay Region residence that is reportedly the result of a collaboration between architect John Nicely and respected design-builder Tom Lowe. The home is made up of a number of levels that move down the slope of the hill in a way that will be loosely familiar to those that know Tom Lowe’s work; but the angularity and unusually interesting spaces are John Nicely. It is a lasting testament to the partnership of two talented East Bay locals.

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2357 Le Conte, Berkeley

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Patrick Leaper, Red Oak

The McMurray house is one of Maybeck’s later homes, built after the great Berkeley fire of 1923 which had destroyed so much of the city. In the stucco walls and clay tile roof, one can see his renewed focus on the creation of a “fireproof” exterior for the house. Inside, however, the finishes are more reminiscent of his earlier work with large glazed openings, a massive hearth, and loads of exposed wood. This is the third Maybeck that has come on the market this summer, and it is by far the latest of the three, providing a good opportunity to see the progression of his of his work over time.

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100 Oak View Terrace, Danville

Click picture for additional photos and complete listing courtesy of Clark Johnson, Compass

Danville has a rather unfortunate reputation for allowing the demolition of some its most notable modernist residences so it is heartening to see that this interesting Third Bay Region mid-century located just around the corner from Eugene O’Neill’s famous Tao House remains largely intact. The home is lavished with clear wood from floor to ceiling in the public rooms and two story walls of glass. Add to that the beautiful wooded setting and inviting pool and this home makes quite a tempting spot to shelter in place.

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