Designed by AAA Architecture in collaboration with Benjamin Parco and built in 2014, upon an Upper Rockridge lot which was laid bare by the Oakland Hills Firestorm twenty-three years before, the four-bedroom home at 132 Alpine Terrace was designed to “maximize views, connect to the outdoors, feature expressive materiality, and embody the modernists principals of California’s best architecture.”

From the architects:

“The modules of the insulated, ground face concrete block helped impose a rigor to the plans that is easily lost in wood frame construction. The blocks allowed for an honest and attractive expression of structure that brought a lot of architectural value to both the interior and exterior while conveying the texture and permanence of stone.

Furthermore, the thermal mass and integral insulation of the block allowed us to open up large areas of glass and still outperform California’s stringent energy requirements by a large margin.”

And the modern 5,215-square-foot home is now on the market for the first time with a $4.5 million price tag.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    I don’t think this touches “California’s best architecture”, modernist or not.

    Just going on the text quoted by the editor above, it seems to me the modular building techniques detract from the aesthetics for this project, rather than adding something to them. I’m not against using modules, but this project didn’t put them to best use. At all.

  2. Posted by Metroliner

    I noticed that they very studiously cropped all of the photos to diminish the two story concrete wall off to the left side of the house. But, it’s there! And it looks like there’s some sort of large industrial fan, too. $4.5 million! Also, the lot across the street is vacant, meaning, your views will potentially be lost or diminished in the not too distant future by a new structure.

    • Posted by emanon

      The concrete wall is the house next door. And yes, it’s there!

  3. Posted by E. Gonsalves

    The lots across the street offer uninterrupted spectacular views. Most of the home built in either of those lots will be downslope from curbside. There will probably be a garage and a single story at street level. The featured home is set high enough across the street from the two empty lots to still maintain a great view.

  4. Posted by BobN

    Wouldn’t insulated cinder block obviate its thermal mass qualities? Or is the insulation only on the outer side?

  5. Posted by Notcom

    For those who might be curious what was there before the holocaust swept thru, if you go to the bottommost picture (#18) here and enlarge it, it looks like it is just at the right edge….ironically an unexciting modern design (albeit only one story).

    • Posted by SocketSite

      The previous house on the site was actually a redwood-clad home designed by a little-known architect named…William Wurster.

      • Posted by Notcom

        That would be consistent w/ what appears in the photo…”exciting” – or not – of course being in the eyes of the beholder.
        🙂

  6. Posted by Some Guy

    Exudes warmth, inviting and homey, can’t wait to have the fams over for Xmas dinner.

  7. Posted by really?

    Looks like a prison with windows, terrible. And if I’m paying 4.5m in Oakland, I want real luxury. Not seeing it here.

    • Posted by E. Gonsalves

      Only when paying 4.5 mil “in Oakland” you want luxury? Is that some sort of dig at Oakland at somehow not being a worthy city?

      • Posted by SocketSite

        Perhaps it has a little something to do with the fact that there have only been six (6) home sales for over $4 million in Oakland, including Piedmont, over the past three years, versus closer to 450 in San Francisco.

        • Posted by E. Gonsalves

          Yes, you get more home for the price in Oakland. Although Oakland is far from inexpensive with a record 20 million sale in the North Oakland hills not too long ago.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            That would be one of the six (6), as we first reported at the time. And as you said, “you get more home for the price in Oakland,” so expectations of what $4.5 million could buy should be higher than in a more expensive market (such as San Francisco).

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            Yes, that’s the one were “Berkeley” gets some credit for a home completely within Oakland city limits.

            I wonder if Oakland ever gets credit for homes which are actually within a Berkeley city limits. Unfortunately this is what goes on with realtors in the North Oakland hills who sell homes within Oakland city limits as “Berkeley,” due to a shared mailing zip code.

            The whole thing is completely unfair and reeks of elitism if not outright systemic racism. You can’t sell Oakland as “Oakland” when the property does conform to the stereotypes and false narrative regarding what Oakland is suppose to be.

          • Posted by Fishchum

            E. Gonsalves, do you find it difficult to type with that chip on your shoulder?

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            No chip. Just stating how wrong it is that Oakland properties in the North Oakland hills are advertised as “Berkeley.”

  8. Posted by Oaklandlover

    That landscaping is aweful. A bit of grass is ok but need some ahrubs or succulents mixed in. It looks like “fancy” dry weeds.

  9. Posted by ananimal

    Pretty awesome house. Attention to detail is a cut above. I’d take this over styrofoam heritage any day.

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