This month saw the 20 year anniversary of the Oakland hills fire of 1991 which killed 25 and destroyed more than 3500 homes. The losses were stunning, both personally and architecturally. Thousands of homes disappeared in a few days, including many nice Tudors, Spanish colonials and mid-centuries. The face of the hills surrounding Highway 24 was altered forever. Much of the area has been rebuilt today, but a neighborhood built within a period of 20 years is by nature quite different than one that develops more slowly over the course of 70 years. On the positive side, the custom homes that were built in this short time frame are an interesting cross section of late 20th century architecture including an unusually large number of postmodern houses.
The home we feature today is one of those interesting postmodern structures. It was designed by Ace Architects who are local to Oakland and have a well-deserved reputation for over the top design. It has an inflated Art Moderne feel to it with its glass block and curved edges, but the enormous applied stair towers that look like horns and the squiggle at the fireplace are very postmodern. Inside, the home is equally showy, with lots of glass and gold trim and stepped soffits.