Originally built in 1929, this simple two story center hall white wood clapboard colonial satisfied all of the early 20th century requirements; formal front elevation with full porch, central foyer/stair hall bounded by formal rooms, private bedroom space on the second floor, and, no relationship to the backyard.
Americans love their early century houses, but they do not love the way they function, forsaking usable modern first floor spaces such as kitchen, mudroom, family room, powder room, and a strong connection to the back yard.
In this case, the solid house ignored the backyard with its original 1920’s kitchen dumping out onto the left side of the house; there was a total lack of connection. The project program asked for a new kitchen and the other missing pieces, but most importantly, a clear, strong connection to the vast rear lawn with an assemblage of spaces starting with the kitchen flowing into the family room, then flowing into the screened porch that spilled onto the rear porch, and then culminates to the hardscape and softscape of the vast lush lawn.
The new architecture is simple like the house; a new gabled volume of open space for the family room that feels connected and then disengaged from the house by a gasket addition holding the kitchen and utility entrance; a strong center access through the spaces carrying the focus from indoors to outdoors; traditional forms creating a crisp modern aesthetic of material, light, form and detail.
The addition is respectful to the original house, but not without imposing its own place in time, commanding the rear elevation in a diminutive manner.
All photos by Hoachlander Davis Photography.