At its most basic, the practice of architecture is a method of finding solutions to problems. Our Madrone remodel is no exception. On the property are two buildings separated from one another by an expanse of yard. The building at the front of the property is the main house, reached by a short raised walkway from the driveway area. At the back of the property is a good sized two-story building that the owners are remodeling into a living space/loft (top floor) and a workshop (ground floor) that they can live in while construction happens on the main house.
Currently, the two buildings have nothing in common and so it became our intent to find a way to bring cohesion to the property. The silver framed windows the homeowners had already ordered for both buildings became our starting point. First, the loft and a shed on the property will be wrapped with flat seam silver metal panels. The main house is clad in brick* so the designers needed to find a way to carry the clean lines and finish of the metal wrap to this building. One of the first solutions was the addition of window “boxes” or “bucks”. These will be made out of a metal with a similar finish and will fit in the window openings of the main house. They will extend past the facade of the exterior about a foot and will help to divert water away from the window openings in the absence of pronounced overhangs. In addition, the same flat seam metal that wraps the loft will be applied to the clerestory portion at the back of the main house.
In addition to having dissimilar exteriors, the front and back houses are physically disconnected from one another. To get from one to another, one has to go down a flight of stairs and either enter at the ground floor or climb another set of stairs to reach the second story. This is not only inefficient, it is a wasted opportunity to reclaim both elevated and ground floor living space. The solution? Sky bridges with metal guards will reflect the metal cladding and their brick surfaces, similar to that of the house, will go even further to bring the project together. Not only do they connect the two structures to one another and to the driveway, they create a shady entertainment area below and an expanded back deck that is wildly more functional..
This project is being directed by W+S Studio Designer Stefan Bader with a capable assist by one of our newest hires, Jerry Song. See below for photos of the existing conditions and renderings by W+S Designer Rick Hamer.
*Fun fact. While performing some “exploratory surgery” on the main house, an extensive mold issue was uncovered. All of the existing brick will be pulled off of the building, cleaned, and stored while the mold issue is mitigated. Once complete, the brick will be brought back and installed in a new pattern that will work with the updated design.