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Rose Street Townhouses

Berkeley, California  2007

Four decades after it was abandoned and nearly a century after it was built, our firm purchased the property that included what remained of the landmarked Rose Grocery with a view to rehabilitating and extending it.

Though a designated landmark, the existing building was beyond repair.  We, therefore, took it down and built a small new structure on the street front that retains many elements of the original Mission Revival façade, including its historic signage. This new structure contains a separate garage parking space for each of the condominiums we designed, as well as a 500 square foot second-floor studio.

The site plan is laid out with the intention of maximizing the privacy of each dwelling.  Moving the “existing” façade seven feet westward to the center of the site allowed for separate entry gates to each of the two dwellings on either side of the “existing” facade.  Each unit has its own private garden courtyard, and the massing, fenestration, and landscape design reinforce the sense of two very private residences rather than a condominium.  While each unit is modestly sized, at 1,500 square feet each, ten-foot ceilings, abundant natural light, and a strong connection to the outdoors make the dwellings feel much larger.

This was our first development project. The houses sold for more than $800/sf – a high water mark for residential property in the Berkeley.

Cutsheet for Rose Street Townhouses
Trachtenberg Architects: David Trachtenberg, Alex Vondeling, Robert Nishimori, Monica Grau
Developer: David Trachtenberg / Rose Projects, LLC.
Engineer: Cobeen Associates
Landscape Architect: Robert Trachtenberg / Garden Architecture (and Shirley Watts for front unit)
Lighting Design: Alice Prussin Lighting Design
Builder: Kaufman Construction