Berkeley Fire Restoration

This eclectic 1923 Berkeley Arts and Crafts home was ravaged by a fire in 2013.  Though much of the exterior structure was saved, the interiors–the real heart of the home–were completely destroyed.  Styling and re-finishing the home had been a decades-long labor of love for its owners, who’d hand painted and hand stained every existing original surface. Throughout the process, they’d added their own unique stylings to the interiors, creating one of the most ‘Berkeley” of homes in the Berkeley Hills.  Though utterly devastating, the fire provided a rare opportunity for the couple to enact some much needed updates to the home’s interiors, while maintaining the stylistic integrity of the original.

 

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Above: view of restoration from the patio

 

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Above: Photo from the Daily Californian depicting the fire damage on the still-smoldering home

 

Architects Robin Pennell and Jon Larson worked with Berkeley’s Planning and Building Departments to seamlessly integrate the stringent Hillside Fire and Building requirements into the restoration of the home. Jon collaborated with the homeowners, working tirelessly to recreate and at times re-imagine the spaces of the restored structure. Peter Singelstad of Singelstad Construction in Orinda was brought in, and his crew rebuilt the home with all the love and care required for such an undertaking. Once the home was deemed complete, the homeowners directed their efforts to the interiors, lovingly restoring each space to its unique splendor. The intricate, painstaking work of adding final finishes continues today, and will continue for some years to come.

 

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Above: the restored dining room retains the home’s original tiled fireplace

 

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Above: view of fire damage to the master bedroom

 

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Above: restored living room with inglenook (as featured in May of our 2016 Jarvis Architects calendar!)

 

 

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Piedmont Design Award

Each year, the Piedmont Design Awards spotlight outstanding projects in categories ranging from Storybook Architecture to Detached Second Units. At this year’s ceremony, architects Arleta Chang and Cindy Chan took home the award for Excellent Indoor/Outdoor Living Space. Congratulations, Arleta and Cindy!

The project, a remodel and addition to the home of clients Hanna Lin and Michael Lucaccini, involved transforming the back of the house to accommodate a series of tiered decks. Together with Mitch Filbert of Construction Effects, they converted an existing carport into a 2-car garage with a roof deck, and added a stairway to the rear yard. The addition of a family room to the main level of the home increased the square footage of the upper deck. In keeping with the Craftsman and Prairie styles of its exterior, the railings, finishes, and other details of the addition were selected to harmonize with the existing structure.

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Above: Tiered back decks and stairway, as seen from the back garden

 

During the design process, particular care was vested in featuring views and light prominently.  Large accordion doors open out from the kitchen and onto the main deck, adding drama to the interplay between interior and exterior.  The doors span the entire western wall of the kitchen, and when fully opened act as a giant gateway, emphasizing the panoramic bay views afforded by the property’s location. The interiors of the home are understated and modern; warm woods, clean whites, and continuous lines provide the ideal backdrop for the drama of shifting light, as it moves from the east in the morning, filtering through a large skylight in the remodeled bath, then travels West, illuminating the remodeled kitchen and family room in the evening.  All aspects of this project, interior and exterior, seem in service of this play of light.

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Above: Large accordion doors integrate the main patio with the family room

 

 

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Vote for Us!

Great news!  We’ve been nominated for Best Residential Architect in Oakland Magazine’s BEST OF OAKLAND & THE EAST BAY Contest!  It would mean so much to us if you’d take the time to vote for us, and to spread the word.  Click on the graphic below to access the poll, or go to OaklandMagazine.com/VoteOakland

Thank you for your continued support!

 

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Cozy Reading Nook

This Berkeley remodel, winner of Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association’s Preservation Award for Restoration and Renovation, preserves the original character of the 1914 Purcell and Elmslie home, while updating its structure and adding appropriate and seamless features to accommodate contemporary living.

One new feature was the addition of a reading nook, located off of the stairway. Extending from a large stair landing, its intimate scale and warm wooden interior invite one to linger, giving pause in an otherwise transitional space. The raised platform inside fits a twin bed, making the space suitable for house guests. Ample bookshelves encourage browsing, and westward facing windows along the back wall let in afternoon light, providing views of the Bay. This combination of attributes makes for a truly multi-use and delightfully cozy space.

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Glen’s ‘Kitchen Recipe’ in Rockridge News

Glen Jarvis’s A ‘Recipe’ for Kitchen Design Success was published in the September 5th issue of the Rockridge News.  In the article, Glen shares insightful tips for designing one’s own dream kitchen, with an eye for important considerations such as the continuity of countertops and the orientation of breakfast tables towards good windows.  Find the issue at local newsstands, or read the excerpt below!

 

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Rockridge Southwestern Pied-á-terre

The owners of this home, a couple that splits their time between their California and Arizona properties, wanted a fun and easygoing retreat from the heat of the Southwestern desert, right here in Rockridge.  Drawing from the warmth and grandeur of the region, architect Lisa Trujillo helped them design a new upstairs pied-á-terre whose intimate scale and Southwestern flair fit their sensibility.

 

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The original single story, three bedroom home was in great shape, but was too large for their needs.  The owners wanted to pare down in size, but build up to capture views, light and spaciousness.  The solution was to add a second story, secondary dwelling unit on a more practical and intimate scale. The focal point is a large vaulted living room with soaring ceilings, its drama heightened by custom-milled and stained wooden beams.  A study, kitchen, powder room, and bedroom with en suite bath and laundry complete the scope. The backyard features a hardscape with water features, storage room with attached carport, and a covered entry porch. The clients procured much of the specialty hardware, doors, light fixtures, and even small trees in Arizona during construction and trucked them back to Oakland for installation.

 

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Working together with contractor Quan Tran, the homeowners fashioned a living quarters well suited to their eclectic taste. Rough-hewn wooden furniture, wrought iron light fixtures and the warm reds of textiles imbue this Oakland retreat with a rustic, sumptuous air.

 

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Claremont Craftsman Wins BAHA Award

This Claremont Neighborhood home has gone through quite a few transformations over the last century, and if we counted the bones correctly our transformation was at least the fifth!  The recent winner of a Preservation Award from Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA), this home was originally designed by Harry C Knight in 1909.

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What began as a two bedroom Turn of the Century Craftsman bungalow became a two story cottage when a couple of rooms were dormered into the tipped roof attic and accessed by a small stairway in the back.  Some time later the upper floor was enlarged to include the large street-facing gable and a new formal staircase.  Fun fact: the original back staircase was walled in, to be ‘found’ just this last year!  During a subsequent remodel, the formal stairway was widened to a grander scale and the house was re-cast in a thirties semi-art deco style.  A later kitchen renovation was up to date for the fifties, but was still quite formal and out of touch with the rest of the house.  Suffice it to say, the house was a hodgepodge of disjointed remodels, in need of a fresh take.

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The remodel, restoration and addition kept all of the old and wonderful aspects of the home–such as its original diamond double hung windows–while dispensing with many timeworn formalities–such as the matrix of closed rooms and narrow hallways that comprised its floor plan.  Light-filled and open, the updated home provides the family with an integrated floor plan, allowing for fluid relationships between different spaces. Ultimately, the home feels more ‘original’ and traditional than it has in almost a century, and most authentic to its inhabitants

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Under Construction: Hawaii Residence

Back in July, Cindy and Arleta paid a three-day working visit to a very special job site: a new home under construction on the Kohala coast of Hawaii.  Their photographs capture a glimpse of the painstaking process involved in building a residence from the sand up.

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Pictured above: contractors excavate the foundation, and put in plumbing and drainage

 

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The palm-lined Pauoa Beach coastline is visible from the construction site.  Not a bad spot to sit and enjoy one’s lunch break!

 

Queen Construction / Jarvis Architects / David Tamura Landscape Architect job sign in place at the base of a palm tree, set against a Hawaiian sunset backdrop

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Connecting With Swedish Roots

This winter, architect Jon Larson took a long-awaited trip to Sweden. While visiting relatives in Stockholm, he took a side trip further north to Sundborn, in the Dalarna countryside, where he visited the home of the late 1800’s Swedish artists Carl and Karin Larsson (no relation, though Jon’s grandfather’s name was also Carl Larsson!)

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View of the front entry, which is westerly-facing to receive afternoon light during the darker months of winter.  Light (and darkness) has a different meaning at 60 degrees latitude. For comparison, the Bay area is at 37.8 degrees….
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Guide at the entry wearing an artist’s smock designed by Karin Larsson

 

The Larsson home has long been an inspiration for many  Jarvis Architects projects, with its bold interior and exterior colors and homey personalized atmosphere combining Swedish classic and warmer folk styles. We have come to know the home through photos and illustrated books, such as Carl Larsson’s At Home, which includes watercolor paintings of the home. Jon was drawn to the ways that Carl Larsson added personalized elements to the structure of the home itself, by painting portraits of family members right on the walls and doors.

 

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Carl Larsson’s wall portrait of four of his children painted on the side wall of the front entry porch.

 

In person, Jon found the rooms to be physically smaller, and thus more intimate, than they had seemed in pictures. But then again, experiencing the flow of one room into another–including the light, the sound of a gushing river just outside the window, and views of surrounding trees–they seemed larger and more expansive. Though now considered quintessentially Swedish, in its time the decor of the Larsson home was considered ‘scandalous’ and ‘vulgar’ for its use of bold colors and the display of painted everyday scenes on the walls. Jon was surprised to find that there were homes with similar character and detailing to the Carl Larsson home (although not quite as colorful) all over the surrounding countryside: homes and buildings from as far back as the 1500’s, many with original or relatively untouched wood exteriors. The Larssons’ mixture of traditional and folk elements, combined with bolder personal touches, into the design of their home is what made their vision truly timeless.  For example, 17th century full-height wooden cabinetry and panelling were imported from Germany and used in Carl’s studio.

 

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A nearby home with entry porch reminiscent of Carl Larsson’s home

 

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Mid Century Home Gets Grand Pool Hall Makeover

In true homage to our client’s love of pool, we worked with designer Carlene Anderson to create a central communal space around her stately pool table. Our architects lifted the ceiling and opened up the kitchen, creating a more expansive, integrated feel to the home. An inset bar adds dimension, and a dining counter with barstool chairs completes the scene.  The stove backsplash is what really ties it all together: the inlay pattern of the pool table is repeated here in mosaic. Warm wooden surfaces and opulent earth tones create a harmonious space conducive to sizable gatherings and merriment.

 

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