Most expensive home for sale in Berkeley is private oasis

The home at 25 Tanglewood Road in Berkeley’s Claremont neighborhood, as seen from the garden in the back. Photo: courtesy

The newly listed five-bedroom home on Tanglewood Road in Berkeley’s Claremont neighborhood has the distinction of being the most expensive home currently for sale in Berkeley (we don’t count the $21 million home for sale also in Berkeley’s 94705 zip code, as it is technically in Oakland).

While it is priced at $4.25 million, it is also worth knowing that the home’s owners spent around $2.5 million totally rebuilding the house after they bought it 13 years ago — a two-year process which has resulted in a stunning spot, one that has served the family of six who have dwelt there very well.

In fact, it was the 17-year-old son of the family, one of four children, who, on first seeing the original property at 25 Tanglewood, designed by noted local architect Hans Ostwald, exclaimed, “I don’t deserve to live in a house like this!”

One of the home’s living rooms with walls of glass and clerestory windows providing ample natural light. Photo: courtesy

Ostwald, who worked for the famous modernist architect Richard Neutra, designed the Bancroft Center at 2560 Bancroft Way and the recently demolished original Berkeley South Branch Library, among other projects. The Tanglewood home, which dates back to 1949, needed major work, however, which is where San Francisco architect Stanley Saitowitz came into the picture.

Staying fairly close to the footprint of the original home, which is set on a lushly landscaped double lot, Saitowitz effectively built a new house, adding a second story to create more bedrooms, windows galore to let natural light flow in, and a guest house.

The exterior is clad in zinc and horizontal wood siding and the home wraps around outdoor courtyards while surrounded by a park-like garden.

The dining and music areas separated by an innovative concrete bench designed by architect Stanley Saitowitz. Photo: courtesy

Inside, the materials used include concrete, drywall, wood, and glass. One of the most eye-catching design elements is the strip of white concrete set into the black-polished concrete floors which runs across the property’s courtyards and right through the house, rising to create a low bench in a living area, and forming benches and a retaining wall outdoors.

The home’s kitchen with its custom cabinetry and work areas. Photo: courtesy

The home’s rooms nearly all boast beautiful built-in custom cabinetry and shelves, and the large kitchen/dining area is a masterwork in sleek work areas and appliances. It flows almost seamlessly into the garden outside with its redwoods and Japanese maples. The owner says the kitchen has always been the heart of the home for the family.

The master bedroom comes with a spa-like bathroom trimmed in charcoal mosaic tile with dual vanities, a bidet, a sunken tub, and a large separate shower.

The interiors were designed by Hulburd Design and the landscape architecture is by Blasen Landscape Architecture.

The home is located on a 0.43-acre double lot and boasts a park-like garden. Photo: courtesy

A bonus for the new caretaker of the 4,850-square-foot home is that it has no direct neighbors on either side, and is located on a quiet, dead-end street, so privacy and a peaceful setting are pretty much guaranteed.

Home prices in the sought-after 94705 zip code have ballooned over the past couple of years. Currently on the market is the remodeled 1920s craftsman at 84 Gypsy Lane listed at $3,250,000, and the 4-bedroom house at 8 Chancellor Place listed at $2,799,000 — both, like the $21 million listing mentioned above, being Berkeley mailing-Oakland taxes addresses. And two homes near to the Tanglewood Road property, and firmly in Berkeley, are listed at $2,650,000: at 2815 Oak Knoll Terrace, and at 115 Parkside Drive.

For full details and more photographs of 25 Tanglewood Road, visit the home’s website, created by its listing agents, Andrew Raskopf and David Gunderman of Alain Pinel Realtors. And watch a short video about the home.

The home at 25 Tanglewood Road, as seen from the street. Photo: courtesy

Home Truths: Why Berkeley has become one of the Bay Area’s hottest real-estate spots (01.25.15) 
Home Truths: The relative ‘bargain’ of Berkeley real estate (03.11.14) 
Op-ed: Priced out of my own ‘million-dollar’ block (05.02.14)
Berkeley home prices soar: Just don’t call it a bubble (06.20.13)

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside. Email: