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He cut into the hall, and now the living room has a colonnaded reading alcove.

By borrowing space from an adjacent hall, Berkeley architect Marc Treib did away with his living room's small, boxy feeling. Openings in one wall extend sight lines out of the room, making it seem larger. Treib created four openings in part of an existing corridor's wall, framing the extra space with an abstract colonnade. The perforated wall still retains its function as a major bearing structure.

The largest opening surrounds a reading alcove. Complete with bookshelves and a built-in sofa with storage compartments, the alcove creates a new seating area, which permits a more open furniture arrangement in the living room.

Two other openings are doorways. The fourth is blocked off with a wall containing a translucent glass window, which lets more light into the shortened hall while masking a view of the bathroom door behind. To dramatize this wall, Treib created a distinctive surface by using wide strips of fir plywood banded with narrower strips of birch ply.

To make the colonnade, Treib used 2-by-4 framing covered with gypsum board. He brushed it with alternating strokes of yellow and pink paint, producing a mottled, almost marbled effect. He treats the colonnade as a sort of stage flat, painting it different colors every year.
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Date:Nov 1, 1984
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