2413A Fifth Street
THE PRESS IS ALL OVER THIS HOME!
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.