The Roll-Up House, designed by Berkeley’s Leger-Wanaselja Architecture. Photo: AIA

A fresh twist on an artfully crafted contemporary home by a Berkeley architecture firm, and a sensitive updating of a historically significant home in our city by another Berkeley architect known for his dramatic modern designs: the result is two stunning homes that are open to the public, with four others, on Saturday, August 10, as part of the American Institute of Architects’ East Bay Home Tour.

It’s the third East Bay tour for the AIA and the theme this year is “Listening to the Past, Designing for the Present.” The six homes on show — one in Berkeley, three in Oakland and two in Lafayette — highlight historic remodels, airy modern houses, sustainable ideas and clever solutions.

Berkeley firm Leger-Wanaselja Architecture were asked to update a home they had built in the hills after the 1991 Oakland firestorm, when it was bought by a new owner who had previously lived in a downtown loft. The architects used exposed wood, steel and concrete give the house a raw, loft-like feel, and created a genuine indoor-outdoor setting through, among other things, a wall of roll-up garage doors. The home, referred to as the Roll-Up House, also has a host of eco-conscious aspects.

The  kitchen in a John Hudson Thomas home on Hillcrest Court, crafted by WA Designs. Photo: AIA

Meanwhile Berkeley architect David Stark Wilson of WA Design, known for his strong contemporary work (and an occasional contributor to Berkeleyside), demonstrated his knowledge of traditional aesthetics with his craftsmanship on a stately John Hudson Thomas home on Hillcrest Court. The East Coast couple who bought the place had looked long and hard for a large home to accommodate their growing family. Their first question to Wilson, was: “Our goal is to do an addition that harmonizes with traditional work. Can you do it?” After looking at the existing house, Wilson responded, “Absolutely!” The outcome: new blending seamlessly with the old, and a lovely home fit for the 21st century.

Read more about the six homes on the tour.

The AIA East Bay Tour is on Saturday August 10. Doors will be open from 10:00am to 4:30pm, rain or shine. The architect for each home will be on-site for questions and discussion. Tickets are $40 ($50 day-of) and can be bought online at the AIA East Bay website, at the AIA office in downtown Oakland, 1405 Clay Street or at the two event headquarters (Lafayette and Berkeley) the morning of the tour.

Berkeley Built: Bernard Maybeck’s Senger House (06.03.13)
Berkeley Built: Sand hoppers at 2nd and Cedar streets (09.06.12)
Three Berkeley homes featured on East Bay architecture tour (07.30.12)
David Stark Wilson: Design rooted in the great outdoors (07.12.12)
Berkeley buildings are winners in architecture awards (05.03.12)
Five Berkeley homes feature on new architecture tour (07.25.11)

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...