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Collection by Kelly Dawson

A Traditional Facade Hides A Light-Filled Modern Delaware Renovation

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Modern additions and a restoration transform a 2,930-square-foot home.

When a Washington lobbyist sought a vacation house in the small coastal city of Lewes, Delaware, he wanted to relax and entertain in a modern dwelling. As soon as a centrally-located address went on the market, one that had the added benefits of being close to shops and the shore, he took it. But, the house contrasted with his vision: it was a historic, 19th century eyesore. So he turned to architect Robert Gurney and his namesake firm to balance the old with the new. “I feel very strongly that modern architecture can co-exist with traditional architecture,” Gurney said. “In fact, the juxtaposition can make you appreciate the positive attributes of both.” Gurney and his client wanted the original two-story structure to be a prominent feature of the renovation and they agreed on a design that built four new pavilions around the old structure. The pavilions are unquestionably modern—glass and stainless steel are reoccurring elements—but accompanying classic lines soften their details. Now, this home has the best of both worlds, including a brand new swimming pool.

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