High in the Hills of Oakland, Skyline House Makes the View the Star

When a young family needed a home with an open floor plan, Terry and Terry Architecture took up the challenge. Skyline House is a rebuild of a post-firestorm home from the early 1990s. It sits in the hills of the Eastbay mountains, overlooking Oakland and the bay beyond. The family wanted to create a connection between the garden at the front of the home and the vistas at the back. Through the use of a clever tube-shaped design, the architects were able to create that connection while still taking the extreme weather of the mountains into consideration.

Using the sloped site and existing floor plan to its advantage, the home steps down rather than rising up, allowing it to better blend in with the natural surroundings and keep visual obstructions to a minimum. The goal of this project was to always be sure nature came first. Redwoods on either side of the property were preserved, while glass walls at the front and back of the home allow for clear views from the entryway garden.

The main level of Skyline House includes the entryway, family room, dining area, kitchen, master suite, and a bedroom. Going downstairs reveals the lower level, which contains a projection room for watching movies, two more bedrooms, and an office. Simple, natural materials of hardwood, stone, and concrete reflect the surrounding landscape, keeping with the minimalist mantra of bringing the outdoors in. Mid-century modern furniture was used throughout the home. The low profile of these pieces make them ideal for this space while adding a touch of style to the design.

The large family room features open floor plan, jaw dropping views, a suspended fireplace, and a dramatically curved, wood-covered ceiling designed to mimic the fog that rolls in over the hills. This unique shape allows for ventilation while also serving a much talked about focal point of the space. A set of sliding glass doors can be tucked away into the wall, allowing for the family room and deck to become one large, open space. Glass panel railings on deck look out over the city below, the bay, and the mountains beyond.

Perhaps the best room in the home is the master suite. It is simplistic, again allowing the scenery to shine. What really makes it special is the private balcony and a large soaking tub in the bathroom — both are perfect for unwinding after a long day and taking in the view of the Golden Gate Bridge.


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