Inspired by the relationship between moving water and canyons, the Berkeley Courtyard House by WA Design is in and of itself a canyon-like formation. Three wings are oriented to create two different breezeways that encourage natural ventilation while providing view of the East Bay below. Native vegetation surrounding the house is enhanced by water features and courtyards that encourage interaction with the outdoors. The stunning zinc-clad home features overhanging roofs, large windows, and an expansive rooftop solar system that provides energy for the house and heats the pools.
The 4,880 sq ft home was designed for a scientist and his wife who had previously lived in a home designed by WA Designs and wanted one of their very own. After finding a lot with views of the sloping hills in the East Bay, WA Designs built a home based around central courtyards that explored the relationship between water and canyons. The home’s hot pool and lap pool in the central courtyard are symbolic of a stream running down a canyon. Meanwhile, the courtyards create sheltered spaces between the earth and the home while encouraging natural ventilation.
The exterior is clad in zinc metal shingles and features large windows that draw lots of natural light into the home. At the same time, large shed roofs cover the separate buildings and wide overhangs shade the home from direct sunlight and glare. The exterior is clad in steel, concrete, and metal – low-maintenance surfaces that increase the durability and longevity of the home. A 10.5 kW roof-mounted photovoltaic system provides electricity for the home, while solar hot water heaters make domestic hot water and heat the water for the lap pool and hot tub. The home also makes use of geothermal heat pumps for radiant floor heating and cooling.
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