When clients approached Bryant Alsop to remodel their 1904 Victorian, they didn’t want the redesign to be slavish to period detail, nor did they want to tear down the house and build anew. "They wanted something unique," says architect Sarah Bryant, who founded the firm in 2008.
The owner had bought the house from a family friend and visited it often as a child, which meant it was "imbued with fond memories," says Bryant. Therefore, the goal of the project was to preserve that connection while also creating new spaces for the owner’s family of four to grow and evolve. "They saw their role as custodians for future generations, and to also enjoy this home and have formative memories created here for their own family," says Bryant.
Get carefully curated content filled with inspiring homes from around the world, innovative new products, and the best in modern design.
To start, a 1980s-era addition was removed to make way for the new design, which encompasses shared living spaces on the main floor, children’s bedrooms upstairs, and a rooftop deck with city views. The lot is a substantial 7,900 square feet, and part of the brief was to avoid over-developing it at the expense of the green space. To that end, the new addition frames the backyard and leaves plenty of room for a pool.
The material palette for the addition was kept simple, both inside and out, in order to emphasize its forms and avoid clashing with the more ornate details of the Victorian. "We wanted the sculptural nature of the design to be prominent and not compete with an overly fussy materials palette," says Bryant. "A simpler palette also allowed the beautiful Victorian details to stand out."
The repeated curved elements—from the tall, cement-rendered columns that band the exterior, to the sweeping ribbon staircase inside the living room—are a subtle reference to the scale and proportions of the Victorian style. "This is a nod to the vertical nature of Victorian buildings, referenced in a more contemporary way," says Bryant.
Builder: Wade Builders
Structural Engineer: Structural Edge
Landscape Design: Garden Birds / Nicola Musten
Interior Design: Do it by Design
Pool: Falcon Pools