This compact cottage in Berkeley was designed for an owner-builder couple and completed in 2001. While it is tucked away in the backyard of an existing house, the surrounding homes and apartments buildings create a relatively dense context, which is one of the reasons our clients opted for thick walls to instill a strong sense of privacy.
Upon completion, the cottage became Berkeley’s first straw bale building. With roughly 1,000 sq.ft., the one-bedroom home feels spacious, thanks to good indoor-outdoor connections and careful window placement that provides views while retaining privacy. The Berkeley Cottage has since changed hands and sparked a lot of interest during open houses and home tours, proving the value and appeal of green building. It was also featured in various book publications, including “The Barefoot Home” by Marc Vassallo.