15 Modern Additions to Traditional Homes

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By Dwell and Annie Fleming / Published by Dwell
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We believe that building a new addition (or many) to your home is exciting. Not only do they create extra space, but additions also add character to your humble abode. Mix it up - preserve the originality of your home, while also building an epic extension that stands out from the rest.

Take a look at fifteen modern home additions that transformed the traditional house to something unique and different from its original structure. 

Soho Row House Renovation - Exterior

Soho Row House Renovation - Exterior

The third-story addition to Lisa Koshkarian and Tom DiFrancesco’s San Francisco home blends seamlessly in both height and scale, giving the couple 500 square feet of extra space without disturbing the surrounding context.

The third-story addition to Lisa Koshkarian and Tom DiFrancesco’s San Francisco home blends seamlessly in both height and scale, giving the couple 500 square feet of extra space without disturbing the surrounding context.

Van Beek’s extra space is home to her office. She works on a Tense table by Piergiorgio and Michele Cazzaniga and Flow chairs by Jean Marie Massaud, both for MDF Italia.

Van Beek’s extra space is home to her office. She works on a Tense table by Piergiorgio and Michele Cazzaniga and Flow chairs by Jean Marie Massaud, both for MDF Italia.

Architect Gregory Phillips connected the original house to a new modern extension that doesn’t interfere with the surrounding houses. "I try to be true to the location,"he explains, "so it doesn’t seem like some spaceship has landed."

Architect Gregory Phillips connected the original house to a new modern extension that doesn’t interfere with the surrounding houses. "I try to be true to the location,"he explains, "so it doesn’t seem like some spaceship has landed."

"From the beginning we knew we needed to remove the rear 80s extension and preserve the front Edwardian home," architect Michael Ong says. "So, we were interested in how the two different architectural styles would work together." The old Edwardian home can be seen in the center of the frame, through the dining room and kitchen of the addition. Merbau Decking extends into the garden, which became the focal point of the home.

"From the beginning we knew we needed to remove the rear 80s extension and preserve the front Edwardian home," architect Michael Ong says. "So, we were interested in how the two different architectural styles would work together." The old Edwardian home can be seen in the center of the frame, through the dining room and kitchen of the addition. Merbau Decking extends into the garden, which became the focal point of the home.

While Audax reconstructing the front facade with restored brick, wood trim, and new stucco, they built a new modern addition onto the back. They also rebuilt the roof to reflect the original design, which ensures that the house still feels like one residence.

While Audax reconstructing the front facade with restored brick, wood trim, and new stucco, they built a new modern addition onto the back. They also rebuilt the roof to reflect the original design, which ensures that the house still feels like one residence.

The addition’s two stories of cedar-framed sliding doors and window provide generous views of the house’s prized jacaranda tree. The addition’s polished concrete floor and white cladding extend into the garden, drawing occupants to the serene rear porch. There, they can relax on stools designed by Alvar Aalto and Charles Wilson while admiring the luscious greenery.

The addition’s two stories of cedar-framed sliding doors and window provide generous views of the house’s prized jacaranda tree. The addition’s polished concrete floor and white cladding extend into the garden, drawing occupants to the serene rear porch. There, they can relax on stools designed by Alvar Aalto and Charles Wilson while admiring the luscious greenery.

The home's white stucco exterior is actually a thin layer of stucco spread over a modern EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finishing System) from Dryvit.

The home's white stucco exterior is actually a thin layer of stucco spread over a modern EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finishing System) from Dryvit.

Thellend Fortin Architectes designed this two-story addition in the OUtremont neighborhood of Monteal to capture views from the steeply sloping lot.

Thellend Fortin Architectes designed this two-story addition in the OUtremont neighborhood of Monteal to capture views from the steeply sloping lot.

Today the house looks rather different: a striking contrast between the original 1780s cottage and a large timber-framed addition whose tin cladding and banks of glass give the effect of a semitransparent shed opening up to the landscape. The extension not only succeeds in creating a working home for a family of five, but compellingly combines the old stone cottage with the contemporary belvedere.

Today the house looks rather different: a striking contrast between the original 1780s cottage and a large timber-framed addition whose tin cladding and banks of glass give the effect of a semitransparent shed opening up to the landscape. The extension not only succeeds in creating a working home for a family of five, but compellingly combines the old stone cottage with the contemporary belvedere.

In the rear of the house, a new addition extends the living space and adds a roof terrace off the second-floor master bedroom. A garden is accessible through a wall of sliding glass doors with Sapele mahogany frames, set back to control solar gain.

In the rear of the house, a new addition extends the living space and adds a roof terrace off the second-floor master bedroom. A garden is accessible through a wall of sliding glass doors with Sapele mahogany frames, set back to control solar gain.

While the original home was dark, like other homes of its period, the addition allowed Andrews and his team to let in an abundance of natural light. "We wanted to create transparency through the house—everything under the ribbon becomes glass," said Andrews. The enormous amount of glass achieves the desired openness, a connection between indoor and outdoor, and that natural light. But it also helps to keep the addition from overwhelming the original home and accentuates the feeling that the addition is an echo. "At night, the addition becomes a glowing lantern in the back of the home," Andrews said. Arch11 put in a tigerwood deck around the expansion and the homeowners took on all landscaping. The welcoming effect at night is soft and understated but surprising by its very existence.

While the original home was dark, like other homes of its period, the addition allowed Andrews and his team to let in an abundance of natural light. "We wanted to create transparency through the house—everything under the ribbon becomes glass," said Andrews. The enormous amount of glass achieves the desired openness, a connection between indoor and outdoor, and that natural light. But it also helps to keep the addition from overwhelming the original home and accentuates the feeling that the addition is an echo. "At night, the addition becomes a glowing lantern in the back of the home," Andrews said. Arch11 put in a tigerwood deck around the expansion and the homeowners took on all landscaping. The welcoming effect at night is soft and understated but surprising by its very existence.

Cor-Ten steel from a ship building yard clads the new structure, which connects via a glass "bridge" to a rebuilt stone farmhouse containing the bedrooms.

Cor-Ten steel from a ship building yard clads the new structure, which connects via a glass "bridge" to a rebuilt stone farmhouse containing the bedrooms.

In Eugene, Oregon, the designer Ben Waechter transformed a small single-family house into a sales space for J-Tea International, adding an eye-catching canopy and a cedar porch to entice shoppers.

In Eugene, Oregon, the designer Ben Waechter transformed a small single-family house into a sales space for J-Tea International, adding an eye-catching canopy and a cedar porch to entice shoppers.

Though the front of this 1880s home in Adelaide, Australia, maintains a traditional facade due to strict heritage laws, the rear is modern eye candy at its best. See more of the home.

Though the front of this 1880s home in Adelaide, Australia, maintains a traditional facade due to strict heritage laws, the rear is modern eye candy at its best. See more of the home.