Ojo Del Sol: The Fish House

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image from: http://www.weirdca.com/
image from: http://www.weirdca.com/

The official name is: Ojo Del Sol (English translation – Eye of the Sun)

It is located in West Berkeley, California. Locals call it the Fish House. The home was actually designed in the early 1990’s by architect Eugene Tsui for his parents so it is also known as the Tsui House.

image from: http://www.tdrinc.com/tsuihs.html
image from: http://www.tdrinc.com/tsuihs.html

The building was given its official name – Ojo Del Sol – due to the large, eye-like window on the south side:

image from: http://www.tdrinc.com/tsuihs.html
image from: http://www.tdrinc.com/tsuihs.html

The unorthodox house is located on a narrow suburban lot so the big fish eye looks directly (and unblinkingly) onto the neighbor’s house.

image from: www.behance.net
image from: www.behance.net

The unique home’s design is actually based on the Tardigrade – the world’s most indestructible creature. Also known as “water-bears” or “moss piglets”, Tardigrades are tiny, plump water-dwelling animals with eight legs:

image from: www.wired.com
image from: www.wired.com

Ew. But the home was built in the moss piglet spirit with recycled Styrofoam and cement walls making it virtually indestructible to wind, water, fire, termites, time, and earthquakes. Much like the resilient little Tardigrade.

So why do local residents refer to the dwelling as “The Fish House”?

Have a look from above…

image from: www.tumblr.com
image from: www.tumblr.com

One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish!

The Fish House was last for sale in 2007 – originally priced at 1.5 million dollars, then slashed to $1 million. According to the records on Zillow.com, it does not appear to have sold so it seems the architect’s parents still reside there.

image from: http://www.tdrinc.com/tsuihs.html
image from: http://www.tdrinc.com/tsuihs.html

Comparable sized homes in the area are going for around $400,000-500,000 so it may be a tad overpriced.

But the novelty of the thing dictates its exceptional price – that and the fact that it is supposed to be indestructible; lasting long after its boxy wood-frame neighbors expire.

~~~

Sources:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2747-Mathews-St-Berkeley-CA-94702/24832623_zpid/#map=mapType%3DBEV%26ori%3DSouth

http://www.tdrinc.com/tsuihs.html

http://www.weirdca.com/location.php?location=213

http://www.sfgate.com/green/article/Eugene-Tsui-Eco-conscious-and-outrageous-2503860.php

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