European Lines and Contemporary California Grandeur

European Lines and Contemporary California Grandeur


The pool house is a major feature of this Tudor-style home.

They define a palatial Alameda Gold Coast home down to its pool house.

If King Henry VIII had commissioned Julia  Morgan to build his summer home, it would look like the Tudor-style mansion at 1277 Bay St., in the heart of Alameda’s Gold Coast.

Fronted by meticulously tended hedgerows, the impeccably maintained property features an ivy-covered archway, suitable for a gilded horse and carriage, and three leaded glass dormer windows that draw the eye skyward.

“I take my children trick-or-treating here and they love coming to this house because of those beautiful, sparkly windows,” said Alameda resident and listing agent David Gunderman. “We’ve always wondered what was on the other side.”

“It’s a remarkable home,” added Gunderman, partner at Andrew and David + Associates. “I’ve never seen anything like it in Alameda or the East Bay.”Now they know—a fairytale castle flooded in a spectrum of light.

The original owner went to great lengths to create an interior environment reminiscent of Europe’s finest homes, replete with several imported hand-carved Italian Carrara marble fireplaces. Glowing oak plank flooring, masterful woodworking, and those magnificent windows provide appeal for those with refined tastes.

Yet, even for a house this grand—six bedrooms and 6 1/2 baths—the 5,000-square-foot-property has a tastefully austere minimalism feel to it. The master suite is king-size in scale, yet perfectly proportioned.

Then, there’s the indoor swimming pool.

Sybille Gurler’s cousin, Swiss architect Giovanni Pezzoli, did some rough sketches during a visit and provided the spark for their inspiration. After researching several indoor pool structures to no avail, they turned to architect David Thruston, formerly of Alameda’s Thruston Associates, to actualize their dream.“When our old pool developed a crack, we decided it was time to renovate,” say sellers Ty and Sybille Gurler. “Our vision was to create a convivial space where we could spend quality leisure time, enjoy meals, or host family gatherings and dinner parties. We wanted a luxury resort next to our home.”

To accomplish these “must-haves,” Thruston specified special moisture-proof materials, like plastic paint and fiberglass windows as well as industrial-grade air-conditioning for optimal ventilation.“We wanted the pool house to feel like we were in our living room and not smell damp or of chlorine,” said Ty Gurler.

“It’s a wonderful space to be in,” added Ty Gurler.

Surrounded by swaying palms and lush tropical plants, the secluded pool house opens to an unexpectedly sunny, travertine patio. This temperate location provided landscape architects Tim O’Shea and Davis Dalbok the opportunity to specify plantings that normally wouldn’t thrive in most Bay Area locations.Yet, even with its European lineage, the property is firmly rooted in a California luxury lifestyle. The pool house’s vaulted ceiling and banks of window fill the room with plenty of light. A retractable NanaWall keeps the air fresh and brings the home squarely into the 21st century.

But a comment from one of their neighbors sums it up the best: “Only 500 yards from our home, yet a world away.”

The Particulars

1277 Bay St., Alameda


6 Bedrooms

6.5 Bathrooms

Square Footage: 5,000

Indoor Pool

Agent: David Gunderman, Andrew and David + Associates

Published online on July 6, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Faces of the East Bay