Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Restoring Balance and Order

About a year ago my parents purchased their neighbors house when they relocated. The original 1860's house was hidden behind tacked on additions and poor maintenance. My parents having purchased their own house about 25 years prior went through a similar exercise of slowly restoring and renovating the house to its current state. While a difficult task, it is something they are familiar with and they see it as a project. The short term goal is to make it an animation studio that will get my dad's work out of their house while the longer term goal is to make a guest house where my brothers (the typographer and the artist) and I (the architect) can come visit without taking over their house. This is where I come in- this is a way for my parents to get some value out of paying for 5 years of architecture school and a chance for me to get experience and built work outside the office. I would say I'm a "contemporary" designer but I believe in being appropriate. That said, the master plan for the house is as follows:

  1. Demolition- Tear off poorly build addition and glass sunroom and general demolition to achieve step 2.

  2. Generally restore the original structure as much as possible while visually balancing and adding dormers to make the upstairs more functional. this includes straightening the foundation and providing new structure for the second floor, 2 new chimney's, a new roof, replacing most of the windows, new siding, and a screen porch

  3. Renovate the interior to update the bathrooms, kitchen, heating, and all the interior finishes.

  4. Restore the existing barn

  5. Add a new addition in place of the old structure. Note: This is where I am planning my larger design moves including a green roof and a lot of glazing.

Currently the house is in the midst of step 2 with the major structural work done, chimneys built, and now the exterior aesthetic getting a much needed face lift. Originally planned as a much more modest endeavor, the scope and schedule keep accelerating. Here is a before and after of the first real exterior work.

Existing house after first demolition stages

View down from hill at new windows and dormers

Hillside front door with new dormers

Hillside from the road, slightly more finished

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