D a n i e l   R u a r k ,   A r c h i t e c t

Custom Residential Architecture

Residential Townhouse Conversion

Berkeley, California

After the success of the live/work conversion of two residential properties, the client/developer turned his attention to two additional residential properties further down the same street.  A similar scenario, the developer acquired two adjoining properties containing single-story/single family residences.  One possessed vestiges of architectural character in keeping with the surrounding the neighborhood; the other was entirely nondescript.

In this case, the developer intended to renovate and adapt each structure as a duplex townhouse.  This required adding space at the rear of the building.  Similar to the earlier project, a common driveway was created that passed between the two structures and accessed new parking created and concealed behind the buildings.  This freed up the front yard to developed as landscaped open space and present a more attractive elevation to the streetscape.

What little of the original Victorian architectural character that remained with the residence on the right was maintained in the renovation and further enhanced with the detailing of the porch and stairs.  Most all of the exterior material and trims were replaced due to the dilapidated condition of the original structure but were carefully matched with locally available resources.  All original windows had long since been removed on both residences.  New double-hung aluminum clad insulated units were selected as appropriate to the style.

The residential spaces within are fairly contemporary in contrast to the traditional exterior, primarily due to a more pleasant spaciousness created by carving out unused attic space and converting it into a loft that looks over and down to the living/dining spaces blow.  The roof is punctuated by a series of skylights that fill the space with generous quantities of natural daylight.  New mahogany hardwood floors installed throughout, along with attractively coordinated bathrooms and kitchens appointed with marble bath/shower surrounds, marble and granite countertops, choice plumbing fixtures and plenty of direct/indirect lighting.

The location of the project was on Berkeley’s west side, just south of University Avenue and within easy walking distance to the desirable shopping and restaurant district on Fourth Street.