Boke House
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Architect Bernard Maybeck
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Location Berkeley, California   map
Date 1902   timeline
Building Type house
 Construction System wood frame and shingles
Climate mild
Context suburban
Style Bay Regional shingle
Notes A classic Maybeck house




Plan Drawing

Plan Drawing, main floor  at ArchitectureWeek

Discussion Boke House Commentary

"The house on a sloping site, is entered on a half-level below the main floor. Its stairhall is built outside of the main rectangular form of the house, and is used as entry, circulation, and stairway for the principal living areas....The living room and dining room of the Boke chalet are one continuous ell-shaped space, separated by a single column of the main structural system....All of the details, both structural and finish, are executed in redwood....Short corbels penetrate the walls to support the large overhanging roof, and they are a good example of one device Maybeck frequently employed to extend the space of the house beyond the limits of the room....In the Boke house Maybeck combined structure and plan to make an exquisite design for the modest house which for quality, limited by size and economy, has not been surpassed."

— Kenneth H. Cardwell. Bernard Maybeck: Artisan, Architect, Artist. p75-76.

The Creator's Words

"Architecture consists in doing things right. Science consists in inquiring how to do things right."

— Bernard Maybeck. Letter to The Craftsman, December 1908. from Esther McCoy. Five California Architects. p11.

"An architectural plan is not primarily made for the glorification of the architect. Neither is it a matter of elaborating buildings senselessly as a tribute to the vanity of human nature. If this were all, modern democracy would not hesitate to eliminate such an art by the simple expedient of neglect."

— Bernard Maybeck, 1917. from Kenneth H. Cardwell. Bernard Maybeck: Artisan, Architect, Artist. p37.

Sources on Boke House

"Bernard Maybeck: Visionary Architect", by Sally B. Woodbridge, ArchitectureWeek No. 43, 2001.0328, pC2.1.

Kenneth H. Cardwell. Bernard Maybeck: Artisan, Architect, Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1977. ISBN 0-87905-148-5. LC 77-13773. NA737.M435C37. p37. Reprint edition: Hennessey & Ingalls, December 1995. ISBN 0912158999. — A primary resource on Maybeck. Available at

Esther McCoy. Five California Architects. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1960. ISBN 0-275-46690-6. LC 74-19818. NA730.C2m3 1975. p11.

Marcus Whiffen and Frederick Koeper. American Architecture, Volume 2. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1984. exterior photo, f253, p314.

Sally B. Woodbridge. Bernard Maybeck : Visionary Architect. text by Sally B. Woodbridge, photography by Richard Barnes. New York: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1992. ISBN 1-55859-280-6. NA737.M435W66 1992. plan, p45. photos, p28, 46, 47, 49. — Insightful text and beautiful images. Available at

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Boke House


Web Resources
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