HOUSE ON CEDAR STREET

2007 BERKELEY, CA

The easily varied bungalow is well suited to Berkeley’s varied topography. With roots in Bengal (from which the word bungalow comes), however, it assumes a fiercer climate and inward orientation. So in the more moderate conditions of Berkeley, it presents the challenge of engaging the immediate landscape with a form intended to keep it at bay.

This 1921 bungalow sits on a 40’ x 100’ south-facing lot with its front porch addressing a busy street, while its back almost ignored the gently sloping, north-facing backyard, though this offers a tranquil redwood-enclosed retreat. Our adaptations focused on turning the once weedy garden into a readily accessible courtyard (with vegetable garden), transforming the lower level into living space (a library, a bathroom, and an office), and adding a two story porch--part open, part glazed, part screened—so that all rooms on the north of the house now have direct access to the outdoors.

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