Modern Vintage: 2241 House

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August 7, 2009

Tres Birds Workshop design principal Mike Moore likes making people think. For the renovation of an over 80-year-old home in Boulder, Colorado, where his firm is located, he mixed modern and vintage, indoors and out, to keep the residents, and their guests, on their toes.

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  The 2241 House by Tres Birds Workshop

Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

    The 2241 House by Tres Birds Workshop Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

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  The residents purchased this house in 2002 and immediately contacted Tres Birds Workshop design principal Mike Moore for an update on its 1923 design. "The house is in a historic neighborhood so you can't change anything that can be seen from the street," Moore says. After proving to permitters that the dramatic renovation would leave the street facade untouched, Moore’s team began construction in January 2003. The residents were moved in by Christmas.

Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

    The residents purchased this house in 2002 and immediately contacted Tres Birds Workshop design principal Mike Moore for an update on its 1923 design. "The house is in a historic neighborhood so you can't change anything that can be seen from the street," Moore says. After proving to permitters that the dramatic renovation would leave the street facade untouched, Moore’s team began construction in January 2003. The residents were moved in by Christmas. Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

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  The residents moved to Boulder from Chicago and wanted a “big open loft combined with the feeling of a tree fort,” Moore says. But before his team could build, they had to do a significant teardown. “We scrapped the entire interior out of the house,” Moore says. “It was a disaster: asbestos all over, lead paint throughout. We left the front half of the roof and two side masonry walls but had to rip everything else out.”

Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

    The residents moved to Boulder from Chicago and wanted a “big open loft combined with the feeling of a tree fort,” Moore says. But before his team could build, they had to do a significant teardown. “We scrapped the entire interior out of the house,” Moore says. “It was a disaster: asbestos all over, lead paint throughout. We left the front half of the roof and two side masonry walls but had to rip everything else out.” Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

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  The size of the new addition and roof structure was based on the lengths of the reclaimed timbers Moore and his team acquired from a Denver building built in 1890 that was being torn down. In total, Moore estimates that 85-percent of the materials used in the renovation came from salvaged materials found within 50 miles of the site.

Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

    The size of the new addition and roof structure was based on the lengths of the reclaimed timbers Moore and his team acquired from a Denver building built in 1890 that was being torn down. In total, Moore estimates that 85-percent of the materials used in the renovation came from salvaged materials found within 50 miles of the site. Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

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  A central brick core extends from the basement to the third floor. The stairs hang off one wall, but inside, the space is programmed for the function of each level. In the basement, the area acts as a second kitchen; the residents wanted their parents to be able to comfortably stay with them for extended periods of time. On the top floor, it becomes the bathroom for the two children’s rooms. Here, on the main floor, the space is used as a pantry, enclosed by a door salvaged from the former Denver Keebler cookie factory. “The company moved locations and abandoned the factory,” Moore says. “They had been making cookies there for 50 years. We could not get the smell of cookies out of door, which everyone was kind of happy with because it smells just like a bag of Fudge Stripes.”

Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

    A central brick core extends from the basement to the third floor. The stairs hang off one wall, but inside, the space is programmed for the function of each level. In the basement, the area acts as a second kitchen; the residents wanted their parents to be able to comfortably stay with them for extended periods of time. On the top floor, it becomes the bathroom for the two children’s rooms. Here, on the main floor, the space is used as a pantry, enclosed by a door salvaged from the former Denver Keebler cookie factory. “The company moved locations and abandoned the factory,” Moore says. “They had been making cookies there for 50 years. We could not get the smell of cookies out of door, which everyone was kind of happy with because it smells just like a bag of Fudge Stripes.” Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

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  The ground floor serves as an in-law for when the residents’ parents come to visit. Moore added salvaged windows to the walls to open up the space and let light in. Wherever there was a pane of broken glass, he replaced it with a piece colored glass.

Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

    The ground floor serves as an in-law for when the residents’ parents come to visit. Moore added salvaged windows to the walls to open up the space and let light in. Wherever there was a pane of broken glass, he replaced it with a piece colored glass. Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

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  “The idea of the house is to constantly flip-flop between modern and vintage,” Moore says. In the kitchen, the new poured-in-place concrete countertops are complemented by vintage stools and a red stove (made the same year, 1923, in which the original house was built) that Moore found online and then refurbished. "We wanted to make it so that people would have no idea what's new and what's old," he says.

Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

    “The idea of the house is to constantly flip-flop between modern and vintage,” Moore says. In the kitchen, the new poured-in-place concrete countertops are complemented by vintage stools and a red stove (made the same year, 1923, in which the original house was built) that Moore found online and then refurbished. "We wanted to make it so that people would have no idea what's new and what's old," he says. Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

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  The double sink was originally in the basement of the house and used for gardening, but Moore moved to the kitchen. “We re-enameled it, which is a disgusting process that I wouldn’t recommend anyone to do,” Moore says.

Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

    The double sink was originally in the basement of the house and used for gardening, but Moore moved to the kitchen. “We re-enameled it, which is a disgusting process that I wouldn’t recommend anyone to do,” Moore says. Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

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  “In the mornings, people get up and hurry off to work, and then the house sits empty for the next seven or eight hours,” Moore says. “Instead of heating the whole house all day, we thought, ‘Why not pick key locations where people will be in the morning and put a stove there as an efficient heat source.” The spots they picked were the kitchen, living room, and children’s rooms. The residents can turn the stoves on for a short time with the click of a button. The heat is absorbed by the concrete and continues to radiate long after the stove is turned off.

Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

    “In the mornings, people get up and hurry off to work, and then the house sits empty for the next seven or eight hours,” Moore says. “Instead of heating the whole house all day, we thought, ‘Why not pick key locations where people will be in the morning and put a stove there as an efficient heat source.” The spots they picked were the kitchen, living room, and children’s rooms. The residents can turn the stoves on for a short time with the click of a button. The heat is absorbed by the concrete and continues to radiate long after the stove is turned off. Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

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  On the main floor, opposite the pantry, a corner of the central brick core is used as a home office. Moore designed and built the desk.

Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

    On the main floor, opposite the pantry, a corner of the central brick core is used as a home office. Moore designed and built the desk. Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

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  A garage door between the dining room to deck opens up views to the outside and creates an indoor-outdoor living and dining space. “Our weather is so random here in Boulder that you can set the table for dinner, and if it’s nice, roll the table out onto the patio,” Moore says. “If the weather gets bad mid-meal, you can just roll the table back inside.”

Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

    A garage door between the dining room to deck opens up views to the outside and creates an indoor-outdoor living and dining space. “Our weather is so random here in Boulder that you can set the table for dinner, and if it’s nice, roll the table out onto the patio,” Moore says. “If the weather gets bad mid-meal, you can just roll the table back inside.” Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

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  Just as Moore tried to blur the line between old and new, he also worked to connect the inside and outside. Whereas most garage doors retract to the interior of the structure, here, the door opens out over the deck. There, it creates a roof over the patio, through which overhead lighting is diffused. He used the same locally salvaged pine for the flooring in the dining room and on the deck to further connect the two spaces.

Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

    Just as Moore tried to blur the line between old and new, he also worked to connect the inside and outside. Whereas most garage doors retract to the interior of the structure, here, the door opens out over the deck. There, it creates a roof over the patio, through which overhead lighting is diffused. He used the same locally salvaged pine for the flooring in the dining room and on the deck to further connect the two spaces. Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

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  The steps of the stairs were made from pieces of wood leftover from salvaged timbers used elsewhere in the house. Moore added a windor in the roof to bring light into the core of the house and didn’t want to diminish its effect with risers so he cantilevered the steps from the central brick wall. “The residents also wanted the house to feel like a tree fort,” Moore says. “These steps look a little risky to climb up but they’re actually super solid.”

Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

    The steps of the stairs were made from pieces of wood leftover from salvaged timbers used elsewhere in the house. Moore added a windor in the roof to bring light into the core of the house and didn’t want to diminish its effect with risers so he cantilevered the steps from the central brick wall. “The residents also wanted the house to feel like a tree fort,” Moore says. “These steps look a little risky to climb up but they’re actually super solid.” Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

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  On the top floor, the children’s bedrooms flank the front and back sides of the stairwell. Moore and his team poured the amber-colored resin wall in a mold before raising it to the back of the bed to to separate the it from the stairs.

Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

    On the top floor, the children’s bedrooms flank the front and back sides of the stairwell. Moore and his team poured the amber-colored resin wall in a mold before raising it to the back of the bed to to separate the it from the stairs. Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

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  The resin wall warms the color of the light as it passes through to the hallway and lower levels. “I chose the amber color because of the idea of the house as a tree fort and amber’s relationship to a tree and its sap,” Moore says.

Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

    The resin wall warms the color of the light as it passes through to the hallway and lower levels. “I chose the amber color because of the idea of the house as a tree fort and amber’s relationship to a tree and its sap,” Moore says. Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

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  Moore wanted to take advantage of the views of the picturesque landscape of Boulder's iconic Flatiron mountains to the west of the home. On the top floor, the master bedroom balcony provides a perfect place to perch and take in the surroundings.

Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

    Moore wanted to take advantage of the views of the picturesque landscape of Boulder's iconic Flatiron mountains to the west of the home. On the top floor, the master bedroom balcony provides a perfect place to perch and take in the surroundings. Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

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  At the rear of the house on the ground floor, another garage door opens the playroom to the backyard and down to a creek. The heating tubes embedded in the acid-stained concrete keep the room warm and the high r-value glass in the garage door holds it in-—though with 335 sunny days each year, the residents often leave the door open and the room to the elements.

Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

    At the rear of the house on the ground floor, another garage door opens the playroom to the backyard and down to a creek. The heating tubes embedded in the acid-stained concrete keep the room warm and the high r-value glass in the garage door holds it in-—though with 335 sunny days each year, the residents often leave the door open and the room to the elements. Photo courtesy of Mike Moore/Tres Birds Workshop

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