Rangr Studio: Third Award of World Design Awards 2020. Located in the Berkeley Hills, on a steep incline facing panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay, the design of this three-level house is guided by seismic constraints, topography, micro-climate, sun path, and the property’s protected oak trees.
To address the risks of earthquakes and landslides, the house is built on grade beams resting on concrete piles embedded in bedrock, avoiding the complexity and expense of excavation and retaining walls. The design includes the first use of residential seismic damper frames which slow the response of the structure in a seismic event and allow it to withstand the maximum predicted earthquake with minimal damage.
Throughout the house, small cantilevers extend space beyond the major structural elements that are directly in-line with the foundations. On the upper level, the most dramatic of the cantilevers extends beyond the western facade, projecting visitors out into the view.
Given a year-round temperate yet chilly climate, the home’s living area is glazed to the south and west, creating a space that maximizes solar heat gain. Large sliding glass doors and high clerestory windows allow cooling breezes to regulate temperature, so the living area feels very much like an exterior covered porch. The middle level remains cooler, and by opening a large glazed door on the lower level, the chimney effect brings more cool air to the upper level.
The house requires very little heating and no air-conditioning. Solar panels on the roof create more than enough electricity for the house and an electric car.
By weaving the design through the site’s constraints and riches, the design creates a warm home lit by golden light, profoundly connected to its landscape with a very low energy footprint.
Firm: Rangr Studio
Architect: Jasmit Rangr
Category: Residential Built
Project Location: Berkeley
Team: Jasmit Rangr, Yvonne-Demitra Konstantinidis, Eivind Karlsen
Country: United States
Photography ©Credit: Joe Fletcher & Matthew Millman
“Jasmit Singh Rangr grew up on the coasts of India, and in the UK, and has lived in the US since attending Yale University for college and for graduate school. In these different climates and geographies he developed a deep sensitivity to the interaction between climate, landscape, and architecture.