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Alcatraz Avenue, Berkeley


This was our first project for San Francisco's Forge New.  They purchased this charming Berkeley home with the idea of renovating it and then offering it for sale.

The home had not been touched in years.  While all of the original architectural details remained on the exterior, the interior had been previously renovated and retained little of its original character.  Forge New wanted to retain the outside look of the house, but modify the interior to bring it up to the level demanded by today's homeowners.

We began by opening up the dining room and kitchen to create more of an open plan.  The kitchen features a large central island that includes a sink and bar seating.  We then added a master bathroom with a large shower and updated the arrangement of the existing bathroom.


A key goal of the project was creating a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home within the existing footprint of the house.  We were able to eliminate an unnecessary hallway to provide space for a second bathroom and borrow space from one of the bedrooms to create a walk-in closet for the master bedroom.  We removed a large fireplace between the dining room and kitchen and relocated it to the living room. 


The resulting plan really demonstrates how space can often be more effectively allocated to improve on the functionality and feel of an existing home without doing an addition.

This house on Alcatraz Avenue now retains all of its original character on the outside, keeping it integrated with the fabric of its neighborhood, yet also provides all of the conveniences and an open plan to satisfy modern needs.

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