Page B2.2 . 02 January 2002                     
ArchitectureWeek - Building Department
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    New Additions


    Many of the renovation schemes in this book seek to erase all memories of the existing structure with a design that bears little resemblance to what was originally on the site. In other cases, architects apply bold design solutions in juxtaposition with traditional architecture.

    But the challenges and indeed the rewards are often far greater when a decision is made to renovate and add to a house rather than tear it down and start over.

    Performing Alchemy

    One example of the transformation of an otherwise unremarkable house is a bungalow loft created in 1996 by the design/build firm, Alchemy, for architect/owners Geoffrey Warner and Dawn DeKeyser.

    The house is located in the Prospect Park neighborhood near downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. It is flanked on both sides by clapboard-sided 1920s bungalows. The 40- by-80-foot (12- by 24-meter) site did not allow for horizontal expansion. Within a mile of the site there are grain elevators, warehouses, and other old industrial buildings, which influenced the character of the design of this addition.

    The architect/owners wanted to combine an industrial loft feel with the coziness, privacy, and economy of living in a bungalow. The interior living space (both actual and conceptual) has been maximized within the modest size of the exterior shell, making the house feel much larger internally than it really is.

    The architects built out the second floor of the house to provide more space without distorting the small feeling of the house or dwarfing its neighbors. From the front sidewalk, the new additions are scarcely visible. The existing roofline was retained, and several dormers were added, providing additional light inside the house without significantly altering the streetscape.

    Second-floor decks are built into the roof and on top of one of the dormers. Traditional materials such as clapboard siding are combined with more industrial materials such as corrugated steel siding that relate to the industrial area bordering Prospect Park.   >>>



    ArchWeek Image

    The master bedroom of a residential renovation, designed by owner/architects Geoffrey Warner and Dawn DeKeyser.
    Photo: Karen Melvin

    ArchWeek Image

    Detail of closet with sliding door.
    Photo: Karen Melvin

    ArchWeek Image

    In the Alchemy-designed and built renovation, reproduction Frank Lloyd Wright art glass windows sit beside a door leading to a second-floor exterior deck.
    Photo: Karen Melvin

    ArchWeek Image

    Axonometric projection of the remodeled roof, with dormers, decks, and skylights.
    Image: Alchemy

    ArchWeek Image

    The ground-floor plan was little changed during the remodel.
    Image: Alchemy

    ArchWeek Image

    The original upper-floor plan.
    Image: Alchemy

    ArchWeek Image

    The upper-floor plan after renovation.
    Image: Alchemy

    ArchWeek Image

    Before renovation, a view of the house from the street.
    Photo: Alchemy


    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

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