In the early nineties when this Oakland home was built, postmodernism was still in vogue, but this structure’s simple exterior and lack of ornamentation is decidedly modern. It appears very much like a stack of shipping containers with its steel exoskeleton visible and interspersed with panels of glass and exposed fastener siding. If it had been built in the last ten years one might be tempted to think that it was actually constructed from containers as they now seem to be the building material of choice for budget-conscious architects, but in the early nineties container homes were virtually unheard of, so it was more likely simply an apt tribute to Oakland’s container shipping economy.
Inside, the home is equally spare and modern with lots of glass and steel and white paint, and an eclectic collection of furnishings. The listing attributes the home to one Beat Ernst, a Swiss architect whose work we are not otherwise familiar with, but clearly it is a highly unusual and considered structure by a practitioner who was comfortable using materials not typically chosen for home-building.