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Hillside Revisited

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Hillside Revisited, a 2013 AIA East Bay Home Tours house
Original: 1991
Renovated:  2007
Architect: Malcolm Davis Architecture, Malcolm Davis, AIA
Photographer: Joe Fletcher

Anticipating their return to the Bay Area from the East Coast, the owners bought a house built hastily after the Oakland Fire of 1991 that was showing signs of premature aging. To guide them through a whole house renovation, they engaged Malcolm Davis, AIA of Malcolm Davis Architecture. In addition to reconfiguring the floor plans for the home’s four complicated levels, the architect captured the panoramic views with walls of glass, removed an elevator and moved the main entry up one and half floors. He then wrapped the prominent entry staircase with IPE wood at the base and walls of glass at the top.

Continuing to work with the verticality of the building and the site, the architect projected a bridge from the back of the house to the hillside garden. The bridge aligns with an interior hallway spine that is now lined with painted wood siding reminiscent of a coastal beach house, lending warmth to this decidedly modern remodel. On the main living level, the kitchen was moved to the center of the house in order to make room for a children’s play area and enhanced indoor-outdoor spaces at the rear of the home.

The project utilized many sustainable building strategies like radiant heating, photovoltaic solar panels and certified forest products, but the largest element is the re-use of the existing house. A talented architect helped this family turn a complicated, deteriorating house into a bright, delightful modern home that works beautifully for their family and lifestyle.

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