A true Mid-Century Modern home designed by John Cooper Funk was constructed on the 12-acre Los Altos Hills parcel at 12950 Robleda Road back in 1955.

Listed as an implied tear down for $7.5 million in 1999, with approved plans for a contemporary 8,000-square-foot home and touting the “value is in the land,” the property was purchased by Yahoo’s first CEO and President, Tim Koogle, for $6.5 million that July.

But rather than raze the home and build a contemporary McMansion, Koogle commissioned Scott Johnson, of  Johnson Fain down in Los Angeles, to renovate, expand and modernize Funk’s original work.

Completed in 2000, the now 5,440 square foot home, including the guest house overlooking the pool, and 12 acre parcel hit the market this past August priced at $19.4 million.

And the sale of 12950 Robleda Road has just closed escrow with an $18.6 million contract price.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Stop Driving

    Beautiful house! The price seems like a bargain considering the large lot and fabulous location.

  2. Posted by Frank C.

    Elegant and so commendably understated. I’d change the yellows, but that’s about it.

  3. Posted by steve

    stunning house.

  4. Posted by Bayview_Rising

    Finally…someone with money AND taste AND a respect for history. Amazing.

    • Posted by Notcom

      Yes, three BIG cheers for Tim….wait, the first CEO of the arch rival of “google” was named “Koogle”, who bought a house designed by a man named “Funk”? (You can’t make this up)

      That having been said, I wonder if something wasn’t lost – however much irony may have been gained – in (what I assume was) a substantial enlarging of a house by a man often known for modest designs and a “strong social philosophy.”

  5. Posted by cleverpunhere

    Congrats to the buyer and cheers to the seller for preserving this house well before “mid century” was hot again. Fantastic judgment and a terrific house.

  6. Posted by jwb

    Argh I could never be in that kitchen. The ever-so-slight variation of the space between the yellow cabinet doors would drive me absolutely up a wall.

  7. Posted by fogmachine

    I would expect both Hewlett and Packard to swing over for Saturday bbq with the kids.

  8. Posted by SFrentier

    One huge single level home. What a waste, they should build up…cough…cough. Oh wait, this isn’t frisco.

    • Posted by scott f

      While it’s not San Francisco, this seems like a good time for a reminder that low-density zoning keeps huge homes for the uber-rich artificially cheap. The rest of us pay for it.

      • Posted by SFrentier

        Scott, but rich people have to live somewhere too. It’s not like you can expect the whole peninsula to be high density. Why not rezone all the nature reserves too while we’re at it? That’s why atherton is atherton, and tenderloin is tenderloin.

        I swear, some of these housing activists would make the entire peninsula SRO’s. That way everybody can afford to live in this great area know as SF Bay Area. Oh wait, it wouldn’t be that great anymore.

        • Posted by cleverpunhere

          One can go too far in either direction, but comparing a large lot for an $18M home to a nature preserve is totally absurd. I know that suburbanites like to tell themselves that they are living “among nature” but suburban living is absolutely, exceptionally terrible for the environment. I’m not saying everyone needs to live in an apartment (I don’t) but let’s not kid ourselves.

          • Posted by Dave

            Yes, it takes a balance. Open space must be preserved but, to do that, areas such as El Camino in the north Peninsula need to be built up – mid-rise condos and apartments. The area Is transit rich. The extremes – where SF is forced to accommodate way more than its fair share of housing and office development or Brisbane wants to add 9 million feet of offices but refuses any significant mid-density residential development – is hurting the Bay Area.

            Portland just surged to 650K residents and should top a million by 2035/40. The residents cherish their magnificent open space. How to accommodate such growth and preserve what makes the area so alluring? Mid-rise housing development will be emphasized over the coming years throughout the region. There will be plenty of single family homes still built but their share of residential production is set to drop below 50%. That type of regional vision when it comes to housing is sadly lacking here. As to this house, the very wealthy will always live apart in their “preserves” – safe from the peasants with pitchforks.

      • Posted by Notcom

        Artificially cheap?? So you mean in the absence of zoning this wouldn’t go for “only” $19M but $20 or 50 or 100M?

        We’re in agreement that this isn’t SF, and I would think it would follow from that this is entirely the wrong house to use as an example.

        • Posted by SFrentier


        • Posted by scott f

          Yes, it would go for more. I’d linked to my friend Jaap’s piece with numbers and examples, but SocketSite’s editor appears to have deleted the link (why?). Google: Jaap Weel mansion artificially cheap.

          • Posted by Notcom

            Well I looked up your friend’s piece – the Editor’s nefarious intentions going unrewarded – and have to say I didn’t find it terribly convincing: a mansion in Atherton goes for “only” $6M while a condo complex in Redwood City will be worth “hundreds of millions”, so but for zoning the former property would have been bid up by a developer.

            It’s not so much that I disagree with his/her conclusion – though the lack of any hard numbers would make it easy to do so – but rather that I don’t see it a bad thing: if by “the rest of us pay the price” you mean b/c what’s left after all the landed estates – probably 10% – are subtracted is smaller than it would otherwise be, so condos go for $1M instead of “only” $800K, perhaps that’s true. But the rest of us would also “pay the price” for having every square inch of the Bay Area built over and covered by dormitories. There’s never been a “right” to live in Montreux or Lake Tahoe because allowing everyone to do so – or try to do so – would destroy a lot of the value of what attracts people there in the first place; so to extend that thinking to the BA, if zoning allows “only” 7M to “selfishly” live here, instead of the 10 or 15 or …what? 100M that some people seem to want, it’s a trade-off I can live with.

          • Posted by scott f

            What do I care if the value of a luxury good I can never afford is destroyed? We’re not talking about a public park here. It isn’t as though plebs like me are welcome to come picnic on the Yahoo CEO’s lawn. So how on earth is preserving him having that experience, when the cost is housing unaffordability, displacement and mass homelessness, a legitimate interest of the government?

          • Posted by Notcom

            I was speaking about zoning more generally, since your friend and his/her fellow travellers seem to have a grudge against anything that speaks of “privilege” (like, apparently, a yard)…but if you want to think Los Altos Hills – or the world in general – would be a better place by cramming 2,625 condos onto this property, I won’t try to dissuade you.

  9. Posted by ramon sampredo

    call me old fashioned. looks like a glorified rest stop, with all those hard edges. i would have taken it to the studs, and done it right: mediterranean-style architecture.

    • Posted by Oaklandlover

      Bleh I agree this thing is barf. No offense to those who like this style/period…. I just never got it, this style/period, relative to such other amazing styles and periods out there.

      Yet the cars back then were so awesome!

      To each his own.

      • Posted by Serge

        Agreed! Cars and how people dressed in the 50s were quite good. Architecture, not as much.

    • Posted by Brian M

      Jesus. More bland sprayed on stucco Mediterranean architecture?

      We will have to agree to disagree.

  10. Posted by Amewsed

    Don Draper would be happy here.

  11. Posted by mercury613

    Finally, someone who knows mid-century modern doesn’t mean antiseptic white box as seen on Property Brothers.

  12. Posted by Mark F.

    Beautiful home.

Comments are closed.

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