Dual Nature

Dual Nature


A bow-tie shaped lot adds interest to a modern home with commanding views and iconoclastic appeal.

When developer Fred Anton and his partners purchased two lots on a newly developed but precipitous Montclair cul de sac, he knew Phillip O. Perkins was the right architect to complete the vision. Renowned for his thoughtful integration of location, environment, and expertise with challenging sites, Perkins did work at 11 Jewell Court that is a testament to his skills.

“The lot was narrow in the middle and wider at both ends,” said Perkins. “The planning commission dubbed the project the ‘Bow-Tie’ house back at the beginning of the project in the early 2000s.”

Unfortunately, due to the economic downturn, construction wouldn’t take place until 2013.

Perkins’ challenge was to create a dwelling that optimized all aspects of its location—view, sight lines, light, and privacy—while establishing a unique home designed on an unusual landscape footprint. During the development of his design, the architect used all the disciplines of his training, including interior and landscape architecture, in creating a singular home with iconoclastic appeal.Unfortunately, due to the economic downturn, construction wouldn’t take place until 2013.

“When we decided on the modern concept, we were taking a chance,” said Perkins. “Most of the new homes built during that period were some version of Mediterranean or Craftsmen.”

Sophisticated, stylish, and oh-so-sublime, the home’s form follows its function. Anton’s wife, Nancy Kaminskas, worked with Perkins to create an interior in keeping with the dwelling’s modern ethos. Her impeccable taste is apparent throughout the home in colors and fixtures that perfectly complement the architect’s vision.

“I envisioned a home for a couple who might have partnered later in life, who might each require their own quarters. Or, perhaps a group of tech entrepreneurs who might use the home as a company headquarters as well as a residence. The home’s singular design lends itself to creative living concepts.”“I started thinking about today’s modern family, as well as obstacles to home ownership in the Bay Area,” said Perkins. “I wanted to design a different type of dwelling that might appeal to a less traditional family or living arrangement.

The duality of the home is repeated in near identical master suites on the second floor, each with spa-worthy bathrooms, fireplaces, and outdoor access—all the better to take advantage of the breathtaking views. Two additional bedrooms on the first floor provide additional living quarters, or perhaps the most enviable home office on the block.The four-bedroom, 3.5 bath stands like a sentinel overlooking the Forestland canyon above Montclair, yet its interior square footage belies a small and unusually shaped lot size. Perkins’ distinctive solution to a challenging site was to place garages on each of the home’s wings instead of building them contiguously. This concept allowed him to maximize the home’s commanding bay views, while also designing two distinct living quarters.

As in all his designs, Perkins seamlessly integrates the outdoors with the interiors to create a harmonious flow. The upstairs suites share a small, sun-filled sitting alcove and access to additional patio space conjoined by a walkway between the two rooms.

The perfect place to take in a sunset and a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, the first floor patio is tucked into the narrowest, middle section of the lot. This intimate, semi-sheltered space provides additional seating, entertaining, or dining opportunities with a sweeping panorama of the sparkling San Francisco Bay.


The Particulars

11 Jewell Court, Oakland


Broker: Rick Richetta

4 bedrooms – 2 master suites

3.5 baths

Lot size: 5,096

Virtual tour: 11Jewell.com


Published online on March 2, 2017 at 8:00 a.m.

Faces of the East Bay