Wally Reemelin’s first A-frame is on sale at Berkeley Hills

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This charming A-shaped house on a double lot is the first of its kind built by Wally Reemelin. Own this magnificent piece of history for $1.28 million.

Although he did not invent the A-frame himself, Reemelin was among the mid-century designers and builders who revived and elevated his position in the field of urban architecture. In the first half of the 20th century, modern architects shunned A-frames, seeing them as a European gimmick. “Say ‘A-frame’ and certain words come to mind, such as gingerbread, yodel, and sticky,” the Baltimore Sun wrote. But thanks in part to Reemelin, “the A-frame’s role in the history of American architecture extends far beyond its misguided reputation as a counterfeit Swiss chalet.”

The A-frame home features an open floor plan.

Liz Rousby

Reemelin was a mechanical engineer, not a formally trained architect. According to Edificionado, it was “Reemelin’s desire to create a new type of low-cost housing that could be assembled quickly for use by Cal students that led him to his new design.”

“The American A-frame was a post-war architectural phenomenon,” said listing agent Caitlin Crawford of Grubb Co. “The design, with its simple lines, offered practicality and affordability to homebuyers.”

Glass walls provide views of the Berkeley Hills.

Glass walls provide views of the Berkeley Hills.

Liz Rousby

In the case of 1167 Keith Ave., the design is a 1,181 square foot home with two bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms. It feels much larger, thanks to the open flow created by its angles, as well as the abundant glass that makes the exterior feel almost like part of the interior.



The compact <a class=kitchen has been renovated with modern features.”/>

The compact kitchen has been renovated with modern features.

Liz Rousby

The home has been updated, with a compact kitchen and a soaking tub in the remodeled full bathroom.

The property's terrace, lawns and gardens offer views of the bay.

The property’s terrace, lawns and gardens offer views of the bay.

Liz Rousby

“It’s the first of several A-frames built by Wally Reemelin in the mid to late 1940s,” Crawford said. “Not a common architectural design you’ll find in an urban area, yet this setting is perfect for it – a bit of mid-century magic in the Berkeley Hills.”

The renovated full bathroom includes a bathtub.

The renovated full bathroom includes a bathtub.

Liz Rousby

The property comprises two lots and 8,640 square feet. Mature redwood trees surround this landscape, and from the expansive deck, lawns, and gardens, views stretch across the bay.

The 1,181 square foot home features two bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms.

The 1,181 square foot home features two bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms.

Liz Rousby

The property includes "beautifully landscaped green spaces," according to the list.

The property includes “beautifully landscaped green spaces,” according to the listing.

Liz Rousby


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