The project consists of a major renovation and addition to an existing mid-century modernist house. The original structure, constructed in 1955, is a fine example of the experiments in modern residential construction of the period. One of the planning ideas present in the original house is a relation established through the progression of internal spaces along a diagonal. This works to great effect in the main existing living room of the residence, with its interior/exterior connections through unobstructed sweeping views of a natural ravine.
Our initial stance was to leave these successful areas untouched, focusing new work on the less successful zones. As the design developed, a larger architectural issue arose: how to merge a mid-century architectural vocabulary with more contemporary formal and spatial expressions? What developed was a split in the design between old and new not in the plan geometry, but in the material and spatial sequencing. This split occurs both in elevation and section. The new volume is a cantilevered wood box engaged into the existing brick volume, the brick now becoming a plinth condition supporting the new design. Furthermore, the exterior wood cladding wraps into the interior, splitting the interior environment at the staircase, allowing a connection between interior and exterior that is spatial, material, programmatic, and sensory.