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.


Photography credit: Peter Vanderwarker