20 Stephens Way • Berkeley, California
Offered by Andrea Gordon of Compass Real Estate, this is the home’s first time on the market since its original sale, and listed at $3.25M – a price tag commensurate with the views.
“This home is the perfect marriage of sky – and sense of place – with its extraordinary Bay views,” said Gordon. “The people who fall in love with this house will likely be artistic, tuned into the nuances – and quite sophisticated.
“I was delighted to discover a woman architect, and UC Berkeley grad had designed the home,” added Gordon. “The sensuous undulations of the roofline evoke a powerful representation of the female archetype.”
Built in 2004, the 5000 sq. ft. custom home would have been nearly impossible to build within the lot’s original perimeter. Along with fellow architects Alexandra Martynetz, and Arnold Mammarella, Boostani et al approached the development collectively as a design team – not as individuals, to literally “think outside the box.”
In reconfiguring the four rectilinear lots, a newly designed grouping of visually complementary homes was envisioned “over a veritable dumpster of tracing paper.”
The collaborative site plan defined the land – and air rights for the properties and their neighbors, and the final reconfigured lot was purchased by a neighbor, who generously preserved it as open space – now a significant neighborhood amenity.
“I begin my design process with the sun,” said Boostani. “I spend time in a space, watching the sun, the quality of light; when, and how it interacts with the location. When I understand the interplay of light, space, and site, I become a conduit for what the structure wants to be.”
By far one of the East Bay’s most distinctive custom homes, 20 Stephens Way arises from a difficult cross slope in a progression of levels before culminating in its signature barrel roofline.
Repeated throughout the home, these arcing curves introduce movement, soften right angles, and provide visual harmony, repeated in windows, archways, and interior finishes. And, if expansive views are your idea of fine art, you’ll be rewarded with masterpiece vistas from every room.
20 Stephens Way’s reconfigured trapezoidal lot positions the home’s garage at the lowest portion of the property, at an unexpected 45% angle to the front of the structure – like a diamond instead of a box.
This on point shape is repeated once again at the rear of the house. When seen from above, the home resembles a large sea creature – “a dolphin or a whale” – swimming languidly through the space.