One of Bates Masi’s goals, in their renovation of a Harry Bates-designed 1967 house on Long Island, was to reorient an awkward staircase that had replaced the original spiral one; it now landed, rather pathetically, in the central portion of the main living area. To open up the room without having to resort to the original space-saving stair, the architects pushed out the south-facing wall five feet, sandwiching a new staircase between the new exterior wall and the line of the old wall. In place of that wall, they inserted a semitransparent slatted divider. This not only refers back to the original structure, it also affords the main living area light from skylights that run along the ceiling above the stairs. This slatted motif is carried throughout the interior (into the kitchen) and exterior (with the deck gates and safety railings), making the intervention seem almost endemic. Photo by Raimund Koch.
“I wanted to explore ideas of light, cross ventilation, and lightness of structure,” architect Joe Osae-Addo says of the one-story, 2,500-square-foot house he designed for his family in Accra, the capital of Ghana. The wraparound balcony is a playground for four-year-old Kwaku; there he plays soccer, chases the family’s four dogs, and hangs out with his friend and neighbor, Anita. Photo by Dook.
Architecture firm NADAAA planned a striated addition to a brick neo-Georgian house in Boston with the owners’ primary goal in mind: to engage with the outdoors year-round. The walls of the rear kitchen and living space are virtually all glass, allowing sight lines to the existing gardens and new pool house through a series of framed vignettes onto the backyard landscape. The glass box is bookended by uniform “fins” that mark the edge of each picture window, as shown here. Photo by John Horner.
Photo by John Horner. Courtesy of COPYRIGHT 2010, JOHN HORNER.
When designing a modern home in Lawrence, Kansas, architect Dan Rockhill’s first move was to remedy the site’s two drawbacks—a steep slope and street noise—in one swoop by placing the bulk of the 1,500-square-foot home on the second level and tucking an additional bedroom, bathroom, and carport underneath. But, his biggest flourish was a slatted exterior screen of Cumaru wood that shields the inexpensive metal siding. Although the South American hardwood was a splurge, Rockhill felt its visual impact and overall durability was worth it: “On smaller projects you are lucky to be able to make two big gestures, so you’d better make them good,” he says.