Posts Tagged ‘house’

This was a dated Spanish Eclectic house with minimal connection to the yard and lots of little rooms. We tore out most of the walls on the main floor. This required adding a steel moment frame that we left exposed, finished with gun-blue and wax. Living room, dining room, and kitchen flow together and all enjoy a view out big doors to the deck and yard.  The owners exercised a lot of restraint in their selection of interior finishes and materials.  Upstairs we added an open plan, light-filled master suite with vaulted ceiling and updated the other bathroom and bedrooms. A radiant heating system in the floor was added throughout.    Now it’s time to fill the white walls with art and break it in!

Built by Accolade Construction, Engineering: AJ Miller & Associates,

Photos by Open Homes Photography

Avila Front


Before Shot

Avila Foyer Big

Entry Hall

Avila Steel.1

Living/ Dining

Avila Great Room Big

View through main floor

Avila Kitchen Big


Avila Kitchen3


Avila Master Suite

MAster Bath

Avila MAster Bedroom

MAster Bedroom

Avila Master Suite 2

Master Suite

Avila Master Bath

Master Bath

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Back of house with big doors and windows


Steel Moment Frame

Looking form Living room through the dining and kitchen out the back. Steel moment frame and beam to be finished with gun blue and left exposed.


Mastersuite rafters

New mastersuite on the second floor viewed from street

Front of house


Before shot of front of house

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Here is the happy client in his kitchen:


John Mcbride was the builder for this project. Here are a few more photos and the floorplan:

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At lunch today I went with Guillaume Canivet  to visit the Simpatico Homes prototype modular house in Emeryville.  Seth Krubriner, the owner of the house explained the design and construction process from start to finish. The modules were constructed in San Jose by Eco Offsite.  Swatt Architects was also involved. This sounds like a lot of cooks in the kitchen…..so I am curious how the collaboration worked.  Seth gave a very interesting and honest presentation of the benefits and drawbacks of modular construction compared to conventional site built. His house actually has site built pieces added onto the modules.

To me, it seems that the best part of choosing a modular system over conventional is that you are limited by the modular system. There are fewer choices and therefore the design process is simpler. Just like a restaurant with a short menu, the specialization and simplification often yields a better product.

Without a good understanding of the system and a willingness to work with it and accommodate it in the design, a modular house might not be any less expensive than a conventionally built house, and could easily cost more, especially if the factory was not very close to the site.

In Seth’s house the joints between the modules are accentuated and celebrated. (you can see one of the joints, a black reglet, in the photo above.) This is an example of how the design should accommodate the system. If Seth were to try for a more traditional aesthetic he would have lost some of the savings.

This same simplification and cost savings could be achieved by an architect who presented a limited pallet of materials and a select contractor and offered to deliver a very specific product. Not a bad idea.

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