Page D2.1 . 21 August 2013   
ArchitectureWeek - Design Department
< Prev Page Next Page >



Staying Put in Style - When to Add On

by Duo Dickinson

Sometimes you just have to add on to make the most of a site's potential. In this case, a center-hall Colonial home with a breezeway kitchen that attached to a garage turned its back on the wonderful view of a mountain to the south.

A large informal living space was added with a gable end of windows so the homeowners could fully appreciate the previously ignored view. A large and simple deck was built around the perimeter of this new room to extend the addition's social capacity.

Further, the outside is brought into this home in a unique way, using an interior window well that brought light deep into the middle of the house. A monitor roof above the new room had its side walls filled with clerestory windows to bring daylighting all the way back to the existing home.

This remodel is obviously a very large-scale undertaking that had a considerable cost, but the truth is the site almost demanded this level of appreciation.

Staying Put

There are over 80 million single family homes in America, and it's estimated that in 2011, 18 million of these were underwater, meaning with a mortgage larger than the value of the house.

Millions of families feel trapped, living a life of domestic frustration in homes that do not work for them, while being unable to move to solve the problems they confront on a daily basis.

The benefits of concise, appropriate remodeling where you live now, independent of market conditions, can include improved convenience and lifestyle satisfaction, better looks, and a reduced environment impact, since improving an existing house is almost always greener than building new from scratch.

This series in ArchitectureWeek, and the book Staying Put that it's drawn from, offer tangible hope for getting the home you want from the house you have right now.

Each of these projects is a select example of the great and affordable outcomes that can be created, when a good architect and a good client team up together.

Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...

Architect Duo Dickinson runs his own practice in Madison, Connecticut. In over 30 years of professional practice, he has built more than 600 projects across the United States, with budgets ranging from $3,000 to $5 million. Dickinson has written seven books, including The Small House, Expressive Details, and The House You Build. He is a contributing writer for Money magazine, the architecture critic for the New Haven Register, and a contributing writer for New Haven magazine. He has also taught at Yale University, Roger Williams College, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design summer program.

This article is part of an ArchitectureWeek series on sensible remodeling solutions for today's housing market, with text and images excerpted from Staying Put: Remodel Your House to Get the Home You Want by Duo Dickinson, copyright © 2011, with permission of the publisher, The Taunton Press.

comments powered by Disqus


ArchWeek Image

A gabled addition to this Colonial-style house is heavily glazed to frame the site's mountain views.
Photo: Mick Hales Extra Large Image

ArchWeek Image

The new space encompasses kitchen, dining and living functions in a single open room. Unmilled log columns are staggered to maximize views and openness.
Photo: Mick Hales Extra Large Image

ArchWeek Image

Prior to the addition, the existing home was spread out and less visually connected to the landscape.
Photo: Mick Hales Extra Large Image

ArchWeek Image

Windows along the side of a gabled clerestory help to illuminate the addition's interior space.
Photo: Duo Dickinson Extra Large Image

ArchWeek Image

Staying Put: Remodel Your House to Get the Home You Want by Duo Dickinson.
Image: Taunton Press Extra Large Image


Click on thumbnail images
to view full-size pictures.
< Prev Page Next Page > Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Free Newsletters       Media Kit       Privacy       Feedback       Follow on Twitter       Like on Facebook
ARCHWEEK  |  GREAT BUILDINGS  |  ARCHIPLANET  |  DISCUSSION  |  BOOKS  |  BLOGS  |  SEARCH © 2013 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved