The project is an addition/renovation to an existing Cape Code style home. We sought to leverages the fundamentals of sustainable and passive solar design. Designed to be zero-energy ready, the renovation/addition was built to the strictest energy efficiency standards. The completed project has been 3rd party tested and received Arlington Green Home Choice Platinum certification (and the highest point rating of the 65 homes approved last year).
Our clients met through friends. He is a British expat with a side interest in photography and works for a global Telecom/IT company from home. She is first generation Thai/American and VP for human resources at a large US corporation. Her day begins at 6 am with yoga.
We sought to build a house that would connect our clients to their passions – a home that would capture light and composition, a place for spiritual amid prosaic endeavors. We wanted to connect them to nature, but how, in such an urban setting? We all wanted a home that would move the dial on sustainable design.
Our planning strategy was simple: We placed living/dining/kitchen/office on a new upper floor in an open plan arrangement with access to a sheltered balcony and removed from the bustle of the street. With a tight budget we developed a language of folded planes where light would animate the interior. Daylight acts as the primary tool to sculpt space.
Exterior materials are corten steel panels and stucco backed by rigid insulation (EIFS). With a limited budget we used a color to animate the facades with a monochromatic palette of black and white against the orange of the weathered steel.
The renovation/addition includes a living/dining/kitchen/office on a new third floor, a new master suite and guest room at the first floor as well as a new at-grade accessory dwelling unit, increasing the square footage from 2100 SF to 3500 SF. The project was completed in 2017.
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The house is zero-energy ready. The completed project has been 3rd party tested and received Arlington Green Home Choice Platinum certification (and the highest point rating of the 65 homes approved last year).
Exterior materials are comprised of corten and stucco (EIFS). Color is used to animate the composition.
The living space has been elevated to the upper level and with an overlook balcony, connects the inhabitants to nature while being removed from the active street life.
Light from the east-facing entry animates the walls at the stair.
With a tight budget, stud walls and drywall were used to add a second layer of "folded planes"
to the interior. Light falling on these walls sculpts the space. The origami concept enriches the interior everyday experience.
With the living/dining and kitchen moved to the upper level, the stair is an important feature in connecting the entry level with that above.
A desk overlooks the stair where the Owner works remotely as project manager to a global telecom/IT company.
The folded plane concept at the stair is mirrored at the kitchen and both bookend the loft space.
The second floor exterior deck connects the inhabitants to the "ever-changing and ever-spectacular treetop view."
Orange glass tile at the stove backsplash - the Owner likened the concept to a man's suit with a bright lining.
Appliances include Bosch and Fisher Paykel.
View looking back toward the stair. A gas stove anchors the living room.
A low window at the guest room gives a view of the garden while preserving privacy.
The masterbath vanity folds down into a bench at the steam shower.
The upper porch affords a treetop view of the neighborhood. The inhabitants enjoy the changing seasons and city sounds within the privacy of their sheltered balcony.
Katy Lellelid of Landscape Design Associates regarding her design for the Arlington Solar project: "Nature should be something right out our front door, not something we have to go visit. While the hardscape pulls from the strong geometry of the home, the planting design is more natural, creating a functional and pleasing space for humans, pollinators, birds, and other wildlife."
Early concept rendering: The addition is re-oriented toward south. The south-facing wall is designed to support solar panels.
Concept sketch: The main living spaces were removed from the street level in an open floor plan arrangement. The stair was therefore an important element in connecting the entry level to the main living space. With a tight budget, the stair and kitchen were treated as folded planes using drywall and light to animate the interior.