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560 Vinson

Modus Studio

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560 Vinson Avenue



Mike White + Bao Bui


  • Chris Baribeau, AIA
  • Josh Siebert, Assoc. AIA
  • Graham Patterson, Assoc. AIA
  • Suzana Annable, Assoc. AIA

Project Status


Year Completed



2,158 sq. feet

Construction Cost




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Project Description

Empowered by their love of place and a history of previous renovations, the owners of this Mt. Sequoyah property sought a complete transformation for their modest ranch-style home. They came to us for a creative and modern approach to design that would provide natural light and views throughout the project. With deep ties to the surrounding neighborhood, there was also a desire to tastefully censor the adjacent homes without completely severing their connection to this charming community.

The existing house faced the typological problems of small, segregated spaces with traditional windows. By opening the living areas and integrating layers of transparency into the design, the spatial boundaries of the home are purposely blurred, and at times, completely obliterated. The simple rectilinear plan of the existing home is now modified by a striking angular expansion, used to preserve and respect a large oak tree in the front yard and also purposefully control the views to adjacent lots when approaching the home from the drive. This formal shift not only creates the cradle-like entry space for visitors but also allows the resident to experience the interior and exterior of the home simultaneously through planes of glass and cedar. Floor to ceiling windows flood the interior with natural light and visually extend the primary living areas out onto the front porch. From a position near the front door, a connection is made to the central oak through the sitting area of the master bedroom, further blurring the boundaries of public and private space in the home.

The changing tones of the façade are a record of time’s ability to patina and alter materials, an idea that is central to the design concept. Like a slowly honed piece of driftwood, new cedar rain screens on the street side facades beg for human touch as they draw light and views almost sensually into the interior spaces. The expansion of the home can similarly be compared to the effect of water over time on a piece of raw steel, as expressed by the weathered cor-ten of the renovated façade. The oxidation process causes the steel to expand naturally as water is absorbed, in the same way that this home has expanded in response to the needs and care of its energetic tenants. These natural materials speak to the home’s symbiotic expansion with deep and inviting hues and provide a raw and striking form on the site, gracefully juxtaposed with the quirky residential context of the established mountainside neighborhood.
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