Architect: Johnsen Schmaling Architects
Contractor: Moore Designs Inc.
A small precise architectural intervention, this project illustrates how an historic home can be re-energized to accommodate changing preferences and use patterns. While there was an abundance of space, a disjointed antechamber with winding stairs divided the home in two and caused circulation problems. The removal and gutting of this space in the middle of the home created room for the insertion that spatially redefines the entry, reorganizes the circulation and opens up the interior sightlines. The carefully designed joinery and assembly of the installation is based on a simple kit of milled wood boards, which serve as structural framing, screening fins, risers, treads and trim. The tightly spaced vertical fins pierce through the tree levels, cradling the new stairs, and transition into the ceiling of the new foyer before folding down as a screen wall, which defines the boundaries of the adjacent living spaces. On the upper level, translucent glass provides privacy for the master suite while allowing light to filter into the foyer. As the fins extend into the lower level, they become the framework for a translucent wall.
Jury Comments: “It is like a jewel box inserted into this historic home. There is a beautiful use of simple materials. All the rooms seem to open up to one another, transforming the entire home. The home environment is blended, with the dramatic high contrast tying the spaces together. The idea of surprise in the project is terrific.”