Cooler Ranch

written by:
photos by:
January 18, 2009
Originally published in Born Again!
After searching in vain for an empty lot to build on, architect Brian White settled for a nondescript 1960s ranch that nobody else wanted—and proved that building from the ground up doesn’t always start on the ground.
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  When Brian White first saw the “little loser of a house” in its original condition, he wasn’t impressed. But after running out of other options, he decided to try for a complete transformation.
    When Brian White first saw the “little loser of a house” in its original condition, he wasn’t impressed. But after running out of other options, he decided to try for a complete transformation.
  • 
  The home’s entry as it is today is a planar collage of right angles and various materials. White reused as much of the original home as possible, such as the siding seen here, and added a second story.
    The home’s entry as it is today is a planar collage of right angles and various materials. White reused as much of the original home as possible, such as the siding seen here, and added a second story.
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  Along one wall of the master bedroom White used Columbia Forest Product’s EcoColors panels (an FSC-certified particleboard) to create sliding closet doors.
    Along one wall of the master bedroom White used Columbia Forest Product’s EcoColors panels (an FSC-certified particleboard) to create sliding closet doors.
  • 
  The architect refers to the huge window opposite the bed as their “flat-screen television.”
    The architect refers to the huge window opposite the bed as their “flat-screen television.”
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  White clad the new story with a black-stained cedar rain screen. The large opaque window lights the stairwell and second floor.
    White clad the new story with a black-stained cedar rain screen. The large opaque window lights the stairwell and second floor.
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  Although his designer friends give him a hard time about it, White decided to keep the original home’s stained glass by the entry.
    Although his designer friends give him a hard time about it, White decided to keep the original home’s stained glass by the entry.
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  White was charmed by the original fireplace with a built-in planter—so much so that the new open floor plan is centered around it.
    White was charmed by the original fireplace with a built-in planter—so much so that the new open floor plan is centered around it.
  • 
  The White family enjoys views of pristine nature from the back decks of their home in 
the woods.
    The White family enjoys views of pristine nature from the back decks of their home in the woods.
  • 
  Brian and Markus are pictured here on the ground-floor deck. New stairs lead down to the basement level and garden.
    Brian and Markus are pictured here on the ground-floor deck. New stairs lead down to the basement level and garden.
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