C H A R A C T E R Stone Villa
Renovation, private residence
5,500 sf, Oakland, CA
Set deep in the Oakland Hills, with naturally framed views of the Golden Gate and San Francisco, an old masonry villa built in the 1930’s was in need of major seismic renovation and a renewal of its living spaces without sacrificing its character and charm. The clients brought a risk-taking, eclectic sensibility to the project, populating the interiors with furniture and art collected from their global travels.
The structural solutions included new foundations for filling the double concrete block walls with steel and grout and tying them in with the floor plates and roof, as well as reinforcement of selected ceiling beams. All this was accomplished without disturbing the inner masonry surfaces of the house.
The kitchen was entirely transformed to open to pantry and eating areas with a new supporting steel beam structure as well as new window wall over the sink, new concrete counters and center island with new cherry wood cabinets and spot lighting. The palette is dark with warm highlights, in keeping with the original texture of stone throughout the house. New glass doors at the kitchen and front entry communicate directly to a landscaped forecourtyard emerging from the hillside, engaging the indoors with outside eating and lounge areas. The spirit of this hidden retreat is revived into a set of bright connections between inside and out that use the heavy masonry walls as a canvass for modernist strokes of glass, steel and wood.