A recent collaboration between the principals of two Bay Area architecture firms resulted in the transformation of a modest Midcentury Modern box home into a statement-making contemporary jewel in Montclair, a tiny neighborhood sitting high in the hills above Oakland.
Clerestory windows above the large glass panels in the second-floor bedroom let in additional light.
The dining area’s indoor-outdoor connection is bolstered by wood accents and massive sliding glass doors that open an entire wall to the balcony.
The two rooms are separated by a glassed-in stair bay that also separates the two halves of the second floor, one half of which includes the living room and the other the kitchen and dining space. “The stair bay helped us delineate the spaces without separating them with walls,” Shank and Carter said.
Topping the stair bay is one of the home’s most unique attributes: a cupola-like structure that Shank and Carter refer to as a light monitor.
“We wanted to keep the original home’s existing ceiling height intact at 8 feet, 3 inches, but we wanted to make sure the space felt open and light-filled,” the architects said. “The light monitor makes the stairwell space feel larger and it provides the vertical height that we were after. Rather than installing skylights, the windows in the light monitor provide a softer light while still allowing you to see blue sky and clouds. In turn, the living room and dining areas on each side feel more intimate.”
Using big glass, the architects created a cupola-like structure they refer to as a light monitor.
The entire west façade of the house is glass, giving occupants views of Oakland, San Francisco, and the bay.
Sliding glass doors connect the kitchen to the outdoor patio space.