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Video Tour


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THE PRESS IS ALL OVER THIS HOME!

WSJ.com
Curbed
Berkeleyside
Dwell

"Architecture is the masterly, correct and magnificent play of masses brought together in light." Le Corbusier

This modernist masterpiece is like a sculpture for living! Built in 2000 as the former home of noted Bay Area architect and master woodworker Tim Rempel, no expense was spared in the creation of this ultra-hip luxury residence in hot West Berkeley. The current owners employed Mr. Rempel and his original construction team to remodel and reimagine the home in 2010, investing nearly $175,000 in thoughtful upgrades. In what became a fruitful artistic collaboration, a select group of artisans did their best work in re-creating this unique architectural wonder.

The home, on four floors and measured at 1937 square feet, encompasses three bedrooms, two full baths, a large open live-work area on the ground floor, a mezzanine off the master, open plan living, dining and kitchen area, deck, and a loft above all. A free-standing condominium in a small, three-unit HOA, the home has its own yard and lives like a single-family detached home.  

Great attention was paid to enhanced structural integrity, flow, materials and finishes, always with green principles at the forefront. The use of available light in every room is exquisite, with exposures on all four sides and the main living areas oriented west, with views to the San Francisco Bay, Mt. Tamalpais, San Francisco and the Berkeley Hills facing east. The home notably features spectacular wood, metal, paint and plaster finishes throughout, honed by local artisan craftspeople. Industrial steel beams and staircases ground the home in the urban milieu, while at the same time feeling like you’ve stepped into a magical place.

Exterior

The home’s exterior, by Rempel + Sheahan, is a stunning and warm combination of marine-grade mahogany paneling, glass and corrugated steel imported from Australia. Set back 100’ from the sidewalk, you arrive via a gracious pathway beautifully landscaped with mature Gingko trees and bunchgrass. At Unit A, you are met with an exotic cactus garden landscaped with river pebbles in the exclusive-use yard.  

First Floor

This level has striking black Vetrazzo floors inset with recycled glass, a large open live-work area for multiple uses with massive windows and double-height ceilings, mahogany wall paneling, a full bath with light terrazzo countertop and shower with mosaic tile and multi-colored shower pan, and two full bedrooms. Both bedrooms have spacious custom closets on German-engineered tracks. The north bedroom has been converted to a soundproof music studio and can be converted back to a bedroom upon request. The live-work studio has double doors leading to the serene cactus garden, a wonderful place for repose. This level also has an energy-efficient and comfortable Voyager hydronic radiant heating system.

Second Floor

Steps of exotic bubinga wood, imported from Africa, take you to the second floor. On this level, the hardwood floors are of Guatemalan rosewood, and walls are of hand-troweled Venetian plaster. At the western edge, a master bedroom that is reminiscent of a luxurious ship’s cabin, paneled in mahogany, with western views and ingenious German-engineered three-in-one windows: tilt and turn for security, egress and breezes. (Check out the video on this website or ask the agent for a demonstration!) Continuing on the master level is a mezzanine with natural cork flooring and custom built-in mahogany closets (crafted by Tim Rempel himself) on German-engineered tracks. Completing this level, a luxurious master bath, finished throughout — countertops, wall tiles and flooring — with gorgeous sandstone-colored marble, a deep Porcher tub, a luxurious shower with frameless shower door and Grohe fixtures, and a towel heating rack; plus a walk-in closet with new Asko stacked washer and dryer.

Third Floor

Prepare to have your breath taken away! Here is the main living level, with a large open plan living and dining area and kitchen. The walls give way seamlessly to domed ceilings that are nearly 14 feet at their greatest height, all done in natural soft-gray Venetian hand-troweled plaster. The floors are of Guatemalan rosewood. Massive windows face the SF Bay. Through the wall of glass, the views — the sunsets — are stunning. The FSC certified ipe wood deck off the living room offers the perfect indoor-outdoor escape. The kitchen features mahogany casework, recycled industrial stainless steel cabinets, and refinished concrete countertops. The stainless steel appliances include a Miele oven, Bosch dishwasher, and Summit Pro refrigerator.

Fourth Floor

The loft was part of the remodel phase, a great getaway within your own home. Here the views are spectacular, giving you a bird’s eye view of both the home and the Bay Area laid out in front of you. Natural cork flooring gives you a soft landing. This is one of the property’s many flexible spaces, which can be used as a home office or just a heavenly perch from which to watch the sunsets with cocktail in hand.

More Great Features

Two-car tandem parking in the long driveway | Custom Hunter-Douglas roller shades throughout | Lightolier, Estiluz, Juno and other distinctive lighting fixtures | Sewer Lateral and BESO compliant for the City of Berkeley, with a Home Energy Rating of 8 (out of 10) | Low average utility bills for the current owners, averaging $150 per month | HOA dues of $250 per month

Location

The perfectly flat location in possibly the hippest corner of Berkeley has access to some of the best amenities that Berkeley and the East Bay have to offer. One block from the south end of Fourth Street, with a plethora of high-end and locally grown retail and wonderful restaurants like Zut! and Iyasare. With a knockout Bike Score of 100 (!), and a Walkscore of 83, you’re only blocks to the Bay Trail. Aquatic Park is also within a few blocks, as is the cool Left Bank neighborhood on San Pablo Avenue with Caffé Trieste, Paisan and Longbranch Saloon among the offerings. This is the ideal location both for home workers and commuters, as you’ve got easy access to I-80, the Bay Bridge, BART and San Francisco — just minutes away by car. More in the Neighborhood section! 

The Interior; The Redesign: About Tim Rempel

Tim Rempel has practiced architecture in the Bay Area for over 30 years. Rempel Architects espouses a modernist approach to designing sustainable residential and commercial buildings and interiors. The practice focuses on innovative exploration of materials and building methods in their design expression. Tim is also a furniture designer and expert woodworker whose hands-on experience with custom fabrication has led to an emphasis on craft and detail expression in the work. Besides the practice of architecture, Tim's interest in theory and education has resulted in teaching at UC Berkeley, CCA, Rice University, and internationally

Seller's Note


Following the Breadcrumbs

We have lived in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Dallas, becoming fans of great modern architecture along the way. We’ve been fortunate to reside in several homes that were significant, even during some of the brief periods when we rented.

Back in 2010 we noticed that several of the East Bay’s more exceptional condominiums seemed to have one name in common – Tim Rempel, an architect. When we visited some of these buildings, the owners often said they knew Tim and in some cases, that he had helped them with the subsequent remodeling of their homes. All spoke highly of Tim’s talents and his willingness to maintain working relationships with them down the line.

With a little bit of research, the breadcrumbs led us to Tim’s former home at 2413A Fifth Street. The photos of the place were online, revealing a stunning interior structure. When we actually saw the building we realized it was the same one we had noticed the prior year, while riding bikes on our way to the nearby Bay Trail. And even though it was technically a “condominium” it was detached and totally unlike the others we had seen. It was magnificent!

Through our agent we were introduced to the current owner, who by coincidence was soon to retire near Yosemite. The timing was right! Walking through the house for the first time, the attention to every detail was obvious. We instantly fell in love with it and made a reasonable offer, but soon learned we would first need to be interviewed. It had been Tim’s wish that only special “stewards” with a real appreciation for what it was – a work of art – should be allowed to purchase the property. We passed the test and became the new guardians of what we later nicknamed the "Rempel Temple.”

Despite the home’s truly amazing structure, we felt a need to create a number of smaller individual spaces that did not exist at the time. Who better to help us with that task than Mr. Rempel himself? We were fortunate to work closely with Tim for several months. He reimagined the interior, creating four new rooms and several spacious closets, while leading the same team of master artisans who were involved with the original construction. Tim still had access to many of the earlier details, such as parts suppliers, so the materials used for remodeling were seamlessly integrated. He was pleased to see how his original designs evolved in the home’s new incarnation.

All in all, 2413A Fifth Street is an extraordinary place to live and will always represent a memorable chapter in our lives. There hasn’t been a day where we didn’t look around the home and appreciate yet another element of its brilliant design. We have always seen ourselves as privileged to live there – and now, we want to find just the right buyer to continue the legacy.



Schedule


Open Houses:
Saturday and Sunday, 9/23 & 9/24, 2-4
Saturday and Sunday, 9/30 & 10/1, 2-4

Brokers Tour:
Thursday, 9/21, 10:30-1
Thursday, 9/28, 10:30-1

Additional Showings by Appointment:
Contact Toni Hanna
510.982.4429
toni@tonihanna.com



Neighborhood


West Berkeley Unfolds

The day starts with a cup of coffee on the deck. In the distance you can see the marine layer start to burn off the Bay. It’s nice to step outside and feel the sun and a gentle breeze on your cheek. Your dog lets you know it’s time for a short walk to Aquatic Park where the regulars meet with their dogs, as well as cycling commuters and morning joggers. The Canada geese, herons and rows of ducklings following their mother hardly notice the children in the playground.

If there’s a faint, sweet smell of curry in the air, that would be coming from the kitchens at Viks Chaat & Market. Based on the concept of India’s traditional street cart foods, it’s a Berkeley landmark. On the way back stop on 4th St. to say hi to Sven, who for years has been quietly cranking out the best leather handbags around. If you see a pudgy little Boston terrier looking lost just guide him back to the store, he’s our local escape artist.

A block north is Tomate Café, the perfect place for a casual weekend breakfast with a pet-friendly patio. Check out the Barbara Anderson Gallery & Framing space across the terrace. With a long reputation for a keen eye and quality work, Barbara is a local treasure who could become your next-door neighbor! Walking north on 5th Street you’ll come upon another one of architect Tim Rempel’s developments dubbed the GreenPads.

A few blocks further north and you arrive at the Fourth Street Shops, in time for a second cup of drip coffee at Catahoula or depending on the time of day, a cold beer the Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room to get in the mood. Start at Anthropologie, duck into the Builders Booksource to grab The New York Times, check what’s new at the Apple Store and buy that kitchen thing you just can’t live without at Sur la Table.

Time for food! If the line is too long at Bette’s Ocean View Diner you can try a quick fish taco at Tacubaya or get something to go at Market Hall Foods Berkeley. If you have time to hang for a while, try Pompette or Zut!. For some real way back there’s always the recently renovated Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto. Local lore is that years ago, it used be right on the waterfront!

Take a stroll through the expanded DWR or CB2 to find stylish modern items for every space in the home. Specialty shops are all around. For more espresso there’s Peet’s and Artìs within a block of each other.

Or you could head east to Berkeley’s “Left Bank” area. At Dwight and San Pablo there’s great coffee, pastries and nightly music at Caffe Trieste, one of the local landmarks. It’s hard to beat the pizza just a few doors down at Paisan or happy hour at Longbranch with its wide variety of bourbons. Pop into Neyborly afterwards to check out local artwork (like mine!) and one of a kind “maker” furniture to complement your new digs. There’s Anchalee on Dwight for outstanding Thai food. And they deliver!

But if it’s Wednesday morning just head straight for La Noisette Sweets, when Chef Alain briefly opens his bakery to the locals until he sells out – which happens!

After all that eating and drinking you might want to spend the next day swimming laps at the brand new state-of-the-art City Sports gym on San Pablo. If the Fifth Street stairs aren’t enough for you, climb 60’ walls at the very popular Ironworks gym. Even better, hop on your bike and you’re just four blocks from access to The Bay Trail, with endless miles of breathtaking views, the wind in your hair and the scent of wild fennel.

On the way home, stop at the Berkeley Bowl West for the most exotic of everything you could consume and walk across the street to Osh for a bit of that old-timey hardware store experience. They share a parking lot with KALA Institute and Gallery – just one of the many artist studios you’ll discover during the East Bay Open Studios walking tours.

Downtown Berkeley brings with it the lure of the famed Gourmet Ghetto. Nearby are The Freight & Salvage, the new UC Theatre and the new BAMPFA, all vying for your attention. Looking for a more casual vibe? Descend into the California Jazz Conservatory and treat yourself to a glass of wine and some fine jazz by the local musician faculty and student stars in the making.

And what to do with the pup you ask? There’s always Happy Hound doggy day care in their brand new digs on Mandela Parkway, in nearby West Oakland. It’s right on the way to the Bay Bridge and West Oakland BART.

Finally back home, there’s just enough energy left for a nightcap up in the loft and a final wink goodnight from the lights of the City By the Bay. Last sip and you’re thinking…hey, we did pretty good!



Floor Plans

Contact

Toni Hanna

Toni Hanna

Realtor®, GREENPacific Union InternationalcalDRE# 01388453510.982.4429 office510.366.4415 mobilewww.tonihanna.com