Rudi was the second architect for a major rebuild of our 1910 cottage home. The first architect did schematic drawings and led our approval through the Planning Commission, then Rudi made major refinements to the original exterior design appearance, created all the construction drawings, worked with the structural and soils engineers and obtained the building permits. Our house was lifted off the foundation, excavated for a garage, a completely new foundation and retaining walls were built, and then the house was set back down on the new foundation.Additionally, Rudi did all of the interior detail design. We asked for a craftsman / cottage with a modern floor plan and feeling and he delivered exactly what we wanted. He added geometric elements to seamlessly integrate the Craftsman and Modern styles. Our home fits the neighborhood street view (as we are frequently told by passersby) and the interior fits with detailing consistent with the period, yet sufficient modern design cues to give our home a very current feeling. We are frequently asked if the finished house met our expectations and we honestly answer that it came out so much better than we expected! The construction lasted roughly 16 months from mid-2014 to late 2015. and the cost was well over $1M. There were of course conflicts with the builder and Rudi was a steady and helpful intermediary in working through many of the questions and issues.Rudi was a delight to work with. He has a very calm and gentle working manner that belies an intense design spirit and passion for detail.
Rudi did an excellent job helping us redesign our building, adding a second story new three bedroom unit, a new studio and expanding our existing office. Rudi was timely, helped us with the City Planning Commission and Building Departments, and made sure to design something that was functional and something WE really loved. He was there the entire hand answering questions, making necessary changes or adjustments and then assisted in reviewing the active construction. He was very professional and great working with our contractor’s team and our designer. I can’t be more pleased and highly recommend anyone looking for an architect to contact Rudolph Widmann.
Rudi was the architect on a major renovation of the master bedroom suite in our 105 year old Berkeley house. The project included the bedroom, bathroom, adjacent study, exercise room and closet, as well as additional work on the foundation and the room directly beneath the suite. The project took seven months to complete. Rudi was a pleasure to work with, his designs were beautiful and (wonder of wonders) he got our plans through the labyrinth of design review in record time. My wife and I recommend him enthusiastically!
We hired Rudy as our architect and construction manager for an addition and major remodel to our 100 year old arts & crafts home in the Elmwood neighborhood of Berkeley. The addition was a +/- 500’ family room and the remodel consisted of combining three separate rooms into an open plan kitchen which connected to the new family room. We also added a master bathroom and remodeled our existing bathroom. The “trick” was to make the addition and remodel fit in character with the rest of the house — box beam ceilings, lots of built ins, wood, etc. typical of the period and style of the home.Rudy worked with us closely to figure out our needs/wants/deal breakers (he was a good listener and often referee when my wife and I had strongly different opinions). He produced a great set of plans that sailed through the City of Berkeley permit department. He helped us select our contractor and gave us good suggestions about the questions to ask and what to look for (and look out for). Somewhere around this time, our son was born and my availability to manage the contractor dropped off (we were in SF and came over 1-2x/week for meetings) — I used Rudy as my eyes and ears to check in with the construction and make sure that timelines were being met as best as possible and that the quality of the work was high. It was a great relief to me to have someone I could trust watching out.Rudy also helped us in a few other ways — he helped us get the full seismic credit back from the city of Berkeley — together with his engineer designed the cripple walls and other reinforcements, got us the permits and oversaw the work. He also helped us to make a lot of the design choices in the house — tiles, fixtures, surfaces, wood, etc.The changes we made were amazing — our house has a very traditional feel and charm and yet has all of the modern conveniences and capacities. We feel blessed everyday to live in such a wonderful home and are grateful to Rudy and all the other folks who worked on this project.