REDEFINING New Life -
a Country House
A small Country weekend house.had been in the Family since 1953, used principally as a Summer Home. Renovated in 1954, the original was added onto with a 'footprint' equal size in Plan, but with a flat roof set several feet lower than the original. An interim Renovation had compromised the flow of spaces, and the principal charge was to begin by a fourth Renovation, impacting 50% of the First Floor Plan. The second Renovation had real 'issues', so the strategy was to 'rewrite' and 'reform'.
"Correcting" the second renovation, which put a Master Bedroom on the First Floor; the indifferent fitting-out of a Bathroom/Dressing/Closet on the footprint of what had been a small Kitchen/Dining resulted in an odd-shape, with no cross-ventilation, doors opening in that then forced cross-circulation through the space. Closing the short run of existing stairs provided enough "grabbed" space to both reorganize the Bathroom to a "clean" shape, relocate, enlarge and install a Cedar Closet, and configure the Master Bedroom into a rational Geometry.
'CLICK' on images for Caption and to review in Sequence.
Property showing house at time of purchase.
Circa 1953: a simple 'shack', typical of local farmhouses. Compare with Plan(s), showing the Existing seen in photo, and the initial Renovation.
Existing Plan (L) represented in previous photo; Renovation circa 1960 (R). The renovated plan was by architect Robert Rosenberg.
Rear elevation following initial Renovation.
(L) the future Bedroom area as Kitchen-Dining in the First Renovation; (R) Living Room with early Bookcase, and door to Basement. Design by Robert Rosenberg, early residential architect who died at a young age.
'Footprint' at R bottom shows the basic form with an addition.
Renovation target area; an interim 'renovation' had eliminated the clear arrangement connecting spaces from Front (top) to Rear/Garden (bottom). A Bathroom/Dressing/Closet suite had filled in, leaving a Bedroom which - had twin doors opening into the Bedroom - still had access to the staircase, effectively cutting circulation through - Bedroom had little natural light, virtually no cross-ventilation - has an 'odd' shape, with a dark, dead corner (L)
Overlay on Existing Second Floor (black), with existing and proposed Renovation (red), suggested - there had been, in fact, a front porch as shown in 1937 Plan - the wall between the new Bedroom/Bathroom/Closet suite was continuous vertically, Basement furnace, occupied a portion of the Upper Living Room bookcase.
Strategic redefinition of upper level Bedroom & Upper Living Room configuration, and reworking of Kitchen-Dining Plans.
View from entrance to Bedroom, now natural light-filled, with existing (but replaced) windows toward the Road acting as clerestory apertures.
Bright daylight from new double-hung windows, access doors are "barn doors" infilled with translucent panels. Each door glides sideways, and can be opened separately.
Both "barn doors" shown open, to Upper Living Room, garden beyond. Cross-ventilation is readily facilitated.
Construction drawings within "givens" of existing width & chimney; a 'triple' bay of modules with are the same and different. Achieving proportional regularity was a goal.
Composite analysis of how proportions were realized.
Reality: the new element houses heating/cooling supply grilles in fascia, return air at baseboard,
Bookcase reorganizes the space,
Illustrating the "lounge" aspect of the room, fully fitted out with Sonos sound system, LED TV, DVD player, and variable lighting.
Bringing design principles to the Cedar Closet: Regulating Lines and proportions.
The new Bathroom, built on the 'footprint' of the old but re-formed space, although on the N face of the house is brightened with white tile and the glow of bright yellow enamel.
Bathroom interior at night: the sliding door/glass partition is a vertical plane, 'through' which a teakwood bench "slips" by, the "interplay of vertical and horizontal elements". The 'window' is a glass brick panel.