The existing house was a well-loved, 1960's ranch with a full basement. Over the years, piecemeal renovation had compromisedthe original clarity of the house - the basement was haphazardly divided to accommodate additional bedrooms, the public spaces had beenstrangely reconfigured, and a flimsy sunroom had been tacked on the right side.
We removedthesedistractionsto uncover the original form, added a carport, site walls, and porches, and completely refinished the interior.The house is now re-established in it's mid-century neighborhood, a stark alternative to the method of buy, bulldoze, buildout that currently plagues Raleigh's first-ring suburbs.
Despite the large living room windows visible from the street, the existing house was surprisingly dark and heavy. Our decisions about how to operate on the house were geared toward making the house more open and establishing a more delicate stance.
The major changes we designed for the house include a new carport on the right side that replaces the sunroom and extends the line of the roof, new front decks that introduce a floating, thin aesthetic to the formerly heavy front facade, a new kitchen and master suite, new,open stairs that connect the main spaces upstairs to a new, open family room in the basement, new utility systems, and completely new finishes inside and out. A series of site walls knit the house to the hill and new skylights bring light into formerly dark spaces.
The envelope of the house was in relatively good shape. Basement walls are solid CMU and had not failed. In the basement, several steel posts and the need to accommodate new HVAC ductwork drove decisions about wall locations and areas of lower ceilings. The brick veneer above grade on the exterior of the house required little repair, but the pinkish color was not desirable.
We painted the entire exterior of the house to alleviate this and to marry old and new finishes of the completed renovation. The roof beams of the vaulted main living spaces were over-stressed. We added flat steel bars to the underside of these beams to maintain the delicate profile. The carport roof structure continues this same logic outside. The design takes advantage of existing window openings, but two new skylights bring new light into darker areas. Electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems were completely replaced.