Flexible living areas increase the efficiency of the small house by incorporating sliding doors and panels, which can change the use and size of the rooms. Space is further maximized by the creation of a sculpture-like island closet made of raw pallet wood, and by built-in storage units including knee-wall closets with overhead garage-type wood doors counterweighted by pulleys and balances.
For the second-floor expansion, many recycled and industrial materials were used to reduce costs and prevent waste. New Andersen Art Glass windows are used in conjunction with galvanized sheet metal, recycled doors and hardware, and raw pallet wood.
Il Kim is an architect completing his doctoral studies in architectural history at Columbia University. James Grayson Trulove edits, authors, and publishes books on architecture, landscape architecture, graphic design, and art. The two have also collaborated on New American House 3 and The New American Cottage, both published by Whitney Library of Design.
This article is excerpted from New American Additions and Renovations: Innovations in Residential Design and Construction: 25 Case Studies copyright © 2001, by Il Kim and James Grayson Trulove, published by Whitney Library of Design, an imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications. Available where books are sold, including from Amazon.com.
Architect: Alchemy, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Design Team: Geoffrey Warner, Dawn DeKeyser
Consultant: Tom Hansen, CDF Enterprises (millwork, special construction)
General Contractor: Alchemy
Program: Enlarge existing one-bedroom upper 1/2 story to include 2 bedrooms, 3/4 bath, rooftop deck
Area: 1400 square feet (130 square meters)
Structural System: Wood framing with microlams cut into second floor to support new loads; steel I-beam and custom clover-shaped posts support new bedroom
Mechanical System: Retrofit existing hydronic system with Runtal flat-panel radiators; window air conditioning units
Major Exterior Materials: Corrugated steel over ice-and-weather shield, EPDM rubber and asphalt shingles (roofing), stained redwood clapboards, finger-jointed shiplap redwood (siding)
Major Interior Materials: Salvaged pallet boards, sheetrock, galvanized steel, corrugated steel, hot-rolled steel, fir trim, refinished birch floors, slate, tile, hot-rolled diamond plate (at stairs)
Doors and Hardware: Salvaged two-panel, solid-core oak veneer (doors), custom rough-sawn red alder gates on garage door hardware at closets
Photo: Karen Melvin
Detail of pully system used to raise closet doors.
Reflected ceiling plan for upper floor.
Counterweighted closet door and door pulley details.
New American Additions and Renovations published by Whitney Library of Design.
Photo: Michael Weschler
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