Project DescriptionThe Owners, a couple in their mid-70's, purchased this home to start their lives together. They got engaged after they bought the house, and got married in the house while it was under construction. They love to cook and collect art, so the palette of white walls and black steel is both a metaphor for salt and pepper, as well as a setting for framing their artwork. Pops of color highlight the colors in their art collection.
The house is organized around a central core containing service spaces, which creates a seamless flow along the perimeter, with major spaces facing front and back. The existing house was stripped down to its basic elements: brick walls, structural framing members, and outdoor space. The rear second floor was removed to create a two-story living/dining room facing the rear garden. Steel structure was inserted to allow for a full glass wall to the rear. The kitchen sits at the center of the house facing the garden, and an indoor-outdoor dining table with bench (both custom-designed by the architect) create a strong interdependence of cooking, eating, and enjoying the outdoor space. A Corten steel fountain provides the calming sound of water.
Aging in place was an important design factor. An elevator is concealed within the central core, and all circulation routes are wide enough for a wheelchair. The master bathroom has custom stainless grab bars and an open shower for roll-in access.
- Renovation is the most sustainable act we can do as architects preserve existing structures rather than tear down and replace - Large sliding doors on the ground level open up to a 14' continuous span, allowing fresh air to be pulled in by the ceiling fan - Photovoltaic panels on the roof take care of the electrical power for the house - Mechanical system divided into two zones for efficiency, with upper level bedrooms separated from main living spaces, - Recycled and sustainable materials were used throughout, including viroc cement board, no-VOC paint, low-formaldehyde cabinetry, Energy-Star appliances, and low-flow plumbing fixtures - Existing wood floors were maintained wherever possible, and ceramic tile was used throughout the first floor, into the garden. - The glass facing south is low-E with an additional heat-and UV-resistant coating. - Large new window in the main stairwell brings natural light to the center of the house. - Owners' love of organic and locally-sourced food carries into the garden, with the herbs they grow for their meals.