Architecture and Interior Design: Kaplan Architects
General Contractor: Stokes Russell Hayden
Structural Engineer: Anand Nene Structural Engineer
Landscape Design: Patricia O’Brien Landscape Architects
Photographer: Mark Trousdale
Kaplan Architects, established in 1985, is a San Francisco and East Bay-based Bay Area residential architects service firm engaged in projects throughout the Bay Area and beyond. At Kaplan Architects we believe in pursuing design excellence. We do this through thoughtful iteration of ideas, challenging our own preconceptions, and rethinking the solutions we develop.
We strive for the results of our work to be functional, timeless, and beautiful. We create spaces with our client’s needs and desires foremost in mind, and we strive to create spaces that are warm and inviting. Kaplan Architects specializes in mostly custom, high-end residential, and small commercial projects in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area.
We have a strong capability in both the design and the technical aspects of the work. We design new homes, additions, and remodels. We can provide services to guide you through the entire design and building process.
We will develop a thoughtful and well-considered design, take you through any required planning department reviews, develop the technical details and permit drawings needed for construction and permits, procure the building permit, assist you with finding a good contractor, and work in concert with the contractor to make sure your project is executed as planned during construction.
We are your guide and advocate throughout the entire process. We can tailor our services to your specific needs and believe we are an exceptional value to our clients. Kaplan Architects has developed a reputation among its clients, other architects, and builders as a firm having unsurpassed quality and unequaled integrity.
It is our goal to always meet and enhance our reputation. The goal of Kaplan Architects is to leave every client completely satisfied with the services it has to offer. Mr. Kaplan believes that the interaction between client and architect can produce buildings that withstand the changes in fashion and time.
A complete design considers both the interior and exterior of the building as a totally integrated effort. Projects emerge from the client’s needs and desires while responding to the cues of the site, sun, and climate.
The owner’s original three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom house was completely destroyed in the Oakland Hills fire of 1991 in Oakland, California. The very steep down-sloping lot has panoramic views of the five-bay bridges, but the small lot greatly restricts the floor plan footprint as well as the height that is allowed by the Planning Code. The owner wanted to rebuild a new home, taking advantage of the views and cost-efficiently maximizing the space.
Due to the nature of the small lot size and situation, combined with cost concerns, we developed a new house design that had a compact and efficient footprint at 2,000 square feet of living space plus a 500 square-foot garage. The floor plans had minimum space dedicated to circulation alone.
We also stacked the new house vertically to minimize the size of the overall footprint, creating a more efficient envelope and keeping structural costs down. The living and dining areas needed to be relatively small but we wanted to create a feeling of spaciousness, so we combined the spaces to make them fluid and open. Two-story ceilings in the kitchen and entry contributed to the sense of openness and space.
This steep Oakland hillside lot also presented a challenge connecting the street to the garage and house entry. To avoid an unsightly stand-alone garage structure, we placed the garage at the top of the new house and connected it with a poured-in-place concrete bridge to the street. The bridge was designed to be more than utilitarian, containing a bench and also serving as the main access to the house.
Terraces off the main living areas and bedrooms connect the house structure and surrounding areas. The design of the new house reflects craftsman and Mediterranean themes with a contemporary feel.