Private Residence

Private Residence

  • Owner: Withheld
  • Cost: Withheld
  • Completion Date: 2006

The primary objective of this addition is to transform a classic 1920’s residence into a home for 21st century family living. Initial studies of the program and site quickly revealed a detachment of the house from its substantial and beautifully landscaped site.

This disconnect was exacerbated by the location of a driveway and car court in the traditional back yard. Because the owner wanted a three-car garage as part of the plans (the existing garage was converted to a housekeeper’s cottage long ago), it became even more obvious that the automobile needed to be dealt with lest it dominate the whole site.

The sloping of the site on the kitchen end of the home provided the solution. The decision was made to flip the "front" and "back" of the house and move the drive and formal entrance to the street side of the home. This allowed access to the basement level of the home and meant the garage could be slipped under the footprint of the addition. Not only did this reduce the footprint of the addition, but it allowed a separate casual family entrance to the home. The program for the addition includes a large mudroom, toilet, and laundry, a small office, and an open living/dining space adjacent to the kitchen.

To further connect to the site, the addition is conceived as a glass pavilion wrapped by a stone wall that matches the masonry of the existing home. A folded plane roof floats above the spaces creating not only a clerestory, but also allowing the addition to tuck under the one-story mansard of the kitchen wing. The corner of the kitchen is removed to allow for the continuous flow of space out to the yard beyond.

Among the most significant changes to the main house is the redesign of the main stair to move it to one side of the center hall, allowing for a greater flow of space through the home and to the site beyond. The result is a home that balances the traditional design of the original home with a complimentary but spatially opposite modern addition that accommodates a contemporary lifestyle.