Berkeley, CA.


Three compact row houses, located on a narrow lot in The Elmwood neighborhood of Berkeley, are contained within a system of ‘veils’ that house a collection of unique and protected spaces. The living environments are intertwined with a series of courtyards, bringing nature and light into each room.

The architectural qualities and detailing are meant to create a cohesive dialogue with the history and heritage of the neighborhood, which contains some of finest examples of early 1900’s architecture, primarily stemming from the Arts and Crafts movement during that time.

The material pallete is simple and rational, consisting of traditional brick detailing at the base and outdoor floor surfaces with crafted wood boxes on top. The brick creates a continuous connection that resolves the grounding to the gently sloping site and the wood skin acts as a seamless ‘veil’, that envelopes the entire building. The ‘veil’ works with various gradations of screened openings responding to the exterior conditions. Inside the wood boxes, natural light filters first through the wood screens and then into another layer of transparency consisting of clear glass and semi-transparent glass block. This dual system of light control allows for rich and translucent spaces, each one connected to a usable or landscaped internal court.