A family who lost their home in the 1991 Oakland Hills fire
came to KTA to design a new home to replace the one they lost. The new home
was to have the feel of the family's original California Mediterranean style
house while maximizing the hilltop site's access to breezes, natural light and
KTA's goal was to help the family make something positive from the tragedy of the fire.
The Owners had lived in their previous home for fifteen
years prior to the fire. They became active participants in the design
process. KTA utilized the family's intimate knowledge of the site to plan the
layout and orientation of the spaces to fit the family's life to the smallest
KTA literally created "frames" for spectacular views at each level of
the house. A living room with fireplace overlooks the Oakland Hills. The
library opens to a large slate deck offering a 180-degree vista of San
Francisco Bay. Two studios on the third floor, each with a balcony and
trellised deck, feature stunning views. A rooftop deck on the fourth floor
offers the highest observation spot for miles.
KTA cleverly maximized the home's available living space in spite of a
steep site, a small available building footprint and City of Oakland planning
restrictions on rebuilt homes in the area. The 4,500-square-foot living space
houses five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, family room, large kitchen with
an eating area and a two-car garage with dumbwaiter.
A retaining wall was added to create a level outdoor area, a feature
that the original house did not have. Different layers of patios and porches
allow the family to enjoy the typically pleasant climate. A covered outdoor
area has a swimming pool plus whirlpool, exercise equipment and a patio.
Special features include a secured front door and yard and in-floor
heating. Materials of the highest quality like cherry wood, slate and granite
were used throughout the home. Squeak-proof floors were constructed from
engineered lumber joists and the house is kept comfortable with in-floor
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