The jury liked the elegant materials and warm spaces in this house designed and by architect Alex Terry for his family. Terry worked with the steep site by elevating living areas to the top floor. This strategic move put the kitchen/dining area on grade with the back yard while allowing the living room to encapsulate views and exterior space with an enclosed balcony. 

The front and rear walls of the house are mostly glass for maximizing natural light while wood floors and ceilings add richness to the rooms. Thick, cast-in-place concrete walls form the sides of the house—complete with an integrated fireplace and pre-cast grooves to accept the glass panels. “The trick was keeping materials minimal to give them power,” Terry says. “In doing this simple palette, you create a calm space.”

terry & terry architecture, berkeley, calif.

general contractor: Ingmar Kauffeldt, Timberline Construction Co., San Francisco
structural engineer: Paul Means, Santos & Urrutia, San Francisco
project size: 2,300 square feet
site size: 0.08 acre
construction cost: $450 per square foot
photography: Ethan Kaplan Photography, except where noted.

product specs
bathroom fittings: Elkay USAweaetxdyvaydzcwq, Franke Consumer Products, TOTO USA; bathroom and kitchen fixtures: Grohe America; bathroom and kitchen cabinets: LineaQuattro S.p.A.; dishwasher: Miele; doors: Fleetwood Windows & Doors; garbage disposer: In-Sink-Erator; hardware: Häfele America Co.; kitchen fittings: Elkay USA; lighting fixtures: Tobias Grau GmbH; oven/range: Wolf Appliance; paints/stains/wallfinishes: Benjamin Moore & Co., Samuel Cabot; refrigerator: Jenn-Air; skylights/roofwindows, windows: Blomberg Window Systems