Like many San Francisco Bay Area couples who have outgrown their modest homes after having children yet cannot afford to trade up in a sky-high housing market, this Berkeley couple decided to transform their 952 square foot bungalow, on a narrow 2500 square foot lot (25 feet wide by 100 feet long), by lifting their existing house to form a second story and building a new first story underneath.

The original house, built in 1908, did not meet current setback regulations. New construction atop the existing house (without a lift) would have meant narrowing the house even more or no windows along the sides of the second floor, making bedrooms impossible.

By lifting the existing house so that it became the second floor, the owners could keep the existing windows, allowing all the bedrooms to be upstairs. Downstairs, the open floor plan and half bath tucked underneath the stairwell left no square footage unused, serving as an entertainment area. The addition of a floor-to-ceiling NanaWall system at the back of the house brings the outside in, creating an abundant light source from one end of the house to the other, despite having no windows on the sides of the first story. A floating stairwell wrapping underneath an existing skylight provides another flood of light from top to bottom.

Architect: Susan L. Wootan
Interior Design: Shane Kirk

Contractor: James E. Ferguson

Photographer: Chuck Revell

Location: Berkeley, California

Bedrooms: 3

Full Baths: 2

Partial Baths: 1

Structure: House (Single Residence)

Style: Modern

Year: 2017

Square Feet: 1,904

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Modern home with Exterior. Lifting the house Photo  of Berkeley Bungalow Lift

Lifting the house

Modern home with Exterior. Front of the house Photo 2 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift

Front of the house

Modern home with Exterior. Front door Photo 3 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift

Front door

Modern home with Doors. Front entry Photo 4 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift

Front entry

Modern home with Kitchen. Kitchen Photo 5 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift

Kitchen

Modern home with Kitchen. Kitchen Photo 6 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift

Kitchen

Kitchen looking into living room Photo 7 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift modern home

Kitchen looking into living room

Modern home with Living Room. Living room Photo 8 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift

Living room

Modern home with Living Room. Nana Wall Photo 9 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift

Nana Wall

Modern home with Doors. Backyard looking into living room Photo 10 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift

Backyard looking into living room

Half bath under stairwell Photo 11 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift modern home

Half bath under stairwell

Photo 12 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift modern home
Half bath under stairwell Photo 13 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift modern home

Half bath under stairwell

Stairwell Photo 14 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift modern home

Stairwell

Upstairs hallway Photo 15 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift modern home

Upstairs hallway

Guest room Photo 16 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift modern home

Guest room

Children's bedroom Photo 17 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift modern home

Children's bedroom

Master bedroom Photo 18 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift modern home

Master bedroom

Master bedroom Photo 19 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift modern home

Master bedroom

Children's bathroom Photo 20 of Berkeley Bungalow Lift modern home

Children's bathroom

Credits

Posted By
Architect
  • Susan L. Wootan
Interior Design
  • Shane Kirk
Builder
  • James E. Ferguson
Photographer
  • Chuck Revell
Bedrooms
  • 3
  • Full Baths
  • 2
  • Partial Baths
  • 1
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Style
  • Modern
  • Year
  • 2017
  • Square Feet
  • 1904
  • Lot Size
  • 2,500 sq ft
  • 2,500 sq ft