Mid-Century Modern

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Mid-Century Modern, a 2014 AIA East Bay Home Tours house
Built: 1952
Renovated: 2014
Architect: Joanne Koch, AIA | Koch Architects
Photographer: Bruce Damonte


A classic 62-year old Mid-Century modern house in north Berkeley awaited the right owner to revitalize it and architect Joanne Koch, AIA was that person.  Originally designed by notable architect Roger Lee, the house was worn down and in need of repair and renovation, but nevertheless sparked strong visions of future potential for Joanne.

Over the past fourteen years she and her husband have thoughtfully preserved the best of the original design integrity while also transforming the home to meet the needs of their family and businesses in a modernist style. Exterior spaces and connections to the landscape are a strong influence on the house design, with intimate gardens visible through most windows. The house walls off the busy street for privacy and serenity, but Koch plays with that notion by introducing a permeable metal screen at the carport entrance, which slyly connects the main courtyard back to the sidewalk.

By excavating a basement and adding a separate office space, the architect has almost doubled the size of her home over time, but remained mostly within the original footprint. On the main floor, along with subtle changes to the original window wall, the architect added a stainless steel kitchen that feels both modern and timeless. This is a true Californian home, taking advantage of the mild Bay Area climate. Patios and pavilions are connected by sun dappled paths, where even the leaves have been thoughtfully arranged.

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