Set in the Berkeley Hills, this midcentury home was originally built by pioneering Chinese-American architect Roger Lee for concert pianist Jean Gray Hargrove. Lee is known for his minimalist aesthetic and rhythmic style that makes use of natural materials—and these elements shine in the stunning, light-filled residence.
The two-bedroom, two-bath home offers beautiful bay views, soaring Douglas fir ceilings, expansive walls of glass, and heartwood redwood walls that were hand sawn on-site. "It’s elegant, graceful, and spare—like a love poem to the Berkeley Hills," explains interior designer Christa Martin, who has lived in the home for nine years with her husband, creative director Geoff Katz.
The creative couple purchased 100 Parnassus Road in 2011 after searching for the "right home" for two years. They knew that the residence needed work, but they also saw its great bones. "When we purchased the house from the Hargrove estate, it was in good but dated condition," explains Christa. "It had undergone a remodel in the early ’90s featuring tons of mirrored walls and carpeting. The kitchen and bath fixtures were past their prime and needed replacement. We moved in and began planning."
Before starting any work, Christa researched Roger Lee and Bay Area regional modernism, and she reviewed the house plans to understand the principles behind the original design. "I also observed the way we used the space, and how the sunlight moved across the rooms. We wanted to keep the original design as intact as possible while modernizing. The redwood walls are not replaceable, so we decided to work within the existing footprint," she says.
Two years ago, the couple ended up relocating to Los Angeles (their home there was previously featured on Dwell), and although they had hoped to rent out their beloved Berkeley home, ultimately they decided that the house "needs the care of a new, loving owner." Scroll ahead for a peek inside this very special residence.
100 Parnassus Road, Berkeley is currently listed for $1,325,000 by Thomas Westfall of Compass.
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