House for a Dinner Party

House for a Dinner Party

The desire to have a dinner party for more than 12 guests while being able to connect to them from the new kitchen inspired this gut rehab with an addition, new colors and materials. We gave special attention to "100 year elements" like the masonry patterns that create texture, shadow and delight and the effect of making the addition so seamless and invisible that the dinner guest would ask, "What work did you do anyway?"

Perspective from Model

Perspective from Model

We drew this perspective and created all of the drawings with a BIM or building information modeling program called BOA. It began a mile from Revit in Cambridge, Mass. in the 1990s. Once far ahead as it allowed you to work in section and change the 3-d model in real time, BOA went bankrupt along with Revit. Revit was rescued by Autodesk and the rest is history. BOA remains an elegant, powerful solids to this day.

Front Elevation before

Front Elevation before

Note the asbestos siding and the bay which is as wide as the living room behind it. The small porch deck was rotted through in spots.

Construction Photo

Construction Photo

The new spread footing for the relocated living room wall is on the left. The existing bay and the white vinyl windows were not long for this world.

Structural Axon

Structural Axon

This axon shows the complexity of the structure. The effect was to make a seamless dining space with the new structure hidden in the ceiling. Architecture, in our opinion, is partly about effects and pulling them off is the key to a successful project. The parallam, shown in the previous photograph, supports the wall and 2nd floor. It is deep enough that it sits just below the second floor electrical outlet. It creates a large, unitary dining space which fosters the client's love of cooking and giving dinner parties.

Parallam being jacked into place

Parallam being jacked into place

Parallam being jacked into place. Note the verticals of the balloon frame wall have been cut off above the second floor. The 14 inch deep beam came to rest  just below the second floor duplex wall outlets. We didn't have to move them just as our 3d model predicted. Phew!

Before and After

Before and After

Right-sizing is about making your home fit your lifestyle rather than a preconceived notion of size dictated by real estate values. Thus we only added what was necessary to the first floor to make the dinner party and entertaining possible. We could have extended the addition vertically to the second floor but this would have increased costs without any benefit to the homeowner's lifestyle.

Color Scheme Study

Color Scheme Study

The chosen one of the 10 color schemes that were proposed.

Corner View

Corner View

The copper planters are lush with vegetation. The first riser is curved and was built-up with layers of cypress.

Architecture begins when you put two bricks together

Architecture begins when you put two bricks together

The esteemed Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe taught this to his students at IIT. Alfred Caldwell, his landscape architect, inculcated this into me and my classmates. I had and have other ideas. I believe pattern, texture, color and shadow are four of the elements that create engaging, compelling design. Caldwell rejected this, but I hope you will find this effect as beautiful as we do.

Fireplace Design

Fireplace Design

Fireplace with Shelves

Fireplace with Shelves

Here's the fireplace with a similar sawtooth brick detail and new bookcases with a surround reveal detail that is one of our favorites. The color above the fireplace fades into a deep indigo as the light recedes. Most who come to the house look at this and ask the question,"What work did you have done on the house?" Everything you see is new except for the trim which was salvaged. The original space was much smaller, claustrophobically small in comparison.

Living Room looking toward Dining Room

Living Room looking toward Dining Room

The only original thing in this photo is the pair of doors looking out to a new deck. The column on the left hides a 3 1/2" round steel tube that supports the second floor and roof. You would never know that the house in its previous incarnation ended 12 inches to the right of the fireplace. We craft and make Architecture rather than merely design. The effect desired was to have a seamless space to have company for dinner. Most guests think all of this was originally was there. Figuring this out is what we do and makes it Architecture.

View from the kitchen

View from the kitchen

In place of a wall, a bar was made to connect the cook with her guests.

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Living Room Before

Living Room Before

Looking out bay window. Note how the house is flush with the bay end.

Dining Room with Seating for 10

Dining Room with Seating for 10

​The reason for this project was to create a greatly expanded dining room with seating for a minimum of 10. 

View from the Enlarged Dining Room

View from the Enlarged Dining Room

Our Summer Intern Gives the Project a Thumbs Up

Our Summer Intern Gives the Project a Thumbs Up

The photos for this project are in process and our summer intern helped up do a bit of staging. Here she is expressing her satisfaction with the project.