In The News

Renowned California Architect Robert A. Odermatt’s ‘Dream House’

The architect is selling the longtime family home he designed for himself in the San Francisco Bay Area town of Claremont Hills

BY JONELLE MANNION | MANSION GLOBAL

On a clear day, the home boasts 180-degree three-bridge views.
On a clear day, the home boasts 180-degree three-bridge views. Circle Visions

LISTING OF THE DAY

Location: Berkeley, California

Price: $2.899 million 

Perched high in the Claremont Hills, east of San Francisco this stunning family home was designed by architect Robert A. Odermatt as his personal residence. 

After graduating from architecture school at University of California, Berkeley, in the 1960s, Mr. Odermatt and his wife, Diana, bought one of three adjacent lots (while friends of theirs acquired the other two lots), on which he built what he calls “an interesting house” that they could afford at the time, Compass agent Julie Nachtwey said of the home.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Following the devastating 1991 Oakland Hills Fire, which burned more than 3,000 homes, they bought the vacant adjacent lot, which enhanced their privacy and views, and rebuilt the house as their dream home in 1994. They have lived there ever since, but have recently decided to relocate nearer their family in Southern California, according to Ms. Nachtwey, who put the home in contract prior to publication. 

The home is ideal for entertaining, boasting an open floor plan with stylish built-ins to allow the living spaces to flow into one another, while extensive decking and balconies allow for indoor-outdoor living. 

Designed to maximize the views afforded by its dramatic location, 22-foot windows in the living room take in the bay and three bridges, while sweeping views of East Bay Regional Park’s hillside can be enjoyed from the rear deck. “I’ve been in residential real estate for 34 years and I have never, in my whole career, seen more astounding views,” Ms. Nachtwey said. “You have the best of both worlds with this home—a peaceful setting with dramatic and exciting bay views.”

On a clear day, the home boasts 180-degree three-bridge views. Circle Visions

Stats 

The 3,509-square-foot home has three bedrooms, three full and one half bathrooms and sits upon a lot of almost 8,300 square feet.  

Amenities   

The star amenity of this home is the separable, lower level space complete with its own entrance, which was designed as Mr. Odermatt’s architectural office. The space includes two large workstations, as well as a meeting space that benefits from the same amazing views as the rest of the home. This level also has room to host an employee, or could alternatively be converted to a full au pair unit, in-law flat or rentable apartment. In addition, the lower level features three significant storage rooms, ideal for use as a wine cellar or workshop areas.

The home’s extensive decking is another of its shining features. The deck is sturdily built beyond current structural code, according to Ms. Nachtwey, and originally featured a dramatically situated hot tub that offered privacy along with incredible Golden Gate Bridge views—a hot tub could be installed in the same idyllic spot by the buyer. The entirety of the deck has a gorgeous northwest-facing view of the East Bay Regional Park District, an area that is fully protected from any future development. The north deck features a remote-controlled pond and waterfall, and “the western edge of the deck offers the same dramatic views of the bay as the living room and front balconies, while also acting as an oasis from the chaos of the Bay Area,” Ms. Nachtwey said. 

In the main living space of the home, the bookshelf space adjacent to the base of the stairs was purpose-designed to accommodate the owner’s Yamaha Disklavier grand piano. The home also features a staggered two-car garage, a wet bar on the main level, an integrated security system and an elevator that services all three floors with a built-in phone.

Of note is that a separate adjacent lot on Drury Lane that is also available to buy.  

Neighborhood Notes  

The home is enviably situated on a quiet cul-de-sac in the Claremont Hills, an affluent neighborhood straddling the city limits of Oakland and Berkeley in the East Bay. The address lies adjacent to the beautiful green space of the Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve, while being convenient to the popular retail and dining districts of Elmwood, Rockridge, Montclair Village and Orinda. 

The home also lies minutes from an array of cultural offerings, including the Claremont Resort & Spa and Berkeley Tennis Club. Well-regarded schools in the area include UC Berkeley, Emerson Elementary School, Willard Middle School and Oakland Technical High School. 

The location provides easy access to both the BART train system and the freeway, with Downtown San Francisco and San Francisco International Airport both under half an hour’s drive from the home. 

Agent: Julie Nachtwey, Compass