841 Contra Costa, Berkeley

Click on picture for additional photos and complete listing

This beautiful Berkeley mid-century designed by Walter Thomas Brooks is well worth a visit while it’s on the market. The pyramid with apical skylight was a common form for Brooks, perhaps influenced by influencing Charles Moore’s famous Orinda home, but Brooks’ pyramids lack the interior columnar supports and therefore feel less partitioned. A sunken living room creates the only definition in the center of the large volume enclosed by this pyramid, while the spaces around the perimeter are filled with strips of windows above built-ins. Horizontal redwood siding ascends the slope to the skylight above. The selection of materials and workmanship are excellent and though some renovation has been done over the last year, the modifications made do not detract from the original architectural intent.

About edificionado

Edificionado is an Oakland-based real estate brokerage specializing in architecturally and historically significant homes. BRE 01883790
This entry was posted in Architect-Designed, Mid-Century, Walter Brooks. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to 841 Contra Costa, Berkeley

  1. Carrie Brooks Olson says:

    Walter Brooks is my father. He saw your article online and wants to correct that Charles Moore did not arrive in CA until 1959, many years after my dad had already been practicing architecture including designing homes in Berkeley and Orinda. He was not an influence.

    • edificionado says:

      Hi Carrie,

      I am very honored that your father has read my blog. I am a big fan of his work. I apologize if I have my dates confused. I believe I was basing my supposition on an article about your father that ran in the SF Chronicle in June of 2006 (http://www.sfgate.com), which stated that his first house was built in Orinda in 1964. I believe Charles Moore’s Orinda home was built in 1962.

      I have since noticed that in contrast, the website dedicated to your father that you have contributed to (http://www.walterthomasbrooks.com) states that the Donchin house in Orinda was constructed in 1958. If this is the case, I would think it is more likely that Charles Moore was influenced by your father’s famous Orinda house than vice versa. Do you have a copy of the Life magazine article that references the house? I would love to see it!

  2. Bebe McRae says:

    The house at 841 Contra Costa will be open this Sun. from 2 to 4:30. The architecture is amazing and the surrounding gardens provide great privacy.

  3. Bruno Richet says:

    My wife and I are the happy new owners of this unique house. We really love it. If only we could meet the master one day….
    Thank you

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