Adjacent to the owners’ 1909 home once stood a house that burned down in the 1930’s leaving the property with an empty side yard. The existing sidewalks and foundations were all that remained on this steep 25×100 foot Bernal Heights lot and presented a beautiful, yet raw 20th century ruin which became the unifying element for the new design, which included:
- Unifying the two pieces of property by designing an outdoor space for the owner and his pets that allowed for outdoor living.
- Respecting and enhancing the views to the Bay and Berkeley Hills beyond.
- Planting with drought resistant material that provided fragrant and colorful inspiration throughout the seasons.
The differing light and seasonal conditions — fog, bright sun, summer wind, winter stillness, night and day were carefully considered when defining and executing the simple pallet of building materials. To this end we used concrete, steel, stone and the pure red clay which was abundant on the site and allowed for the owner to create and destroy in-situ environmental sculpture as the spirit moved him.