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Belcaro Residence

Sexton Lawton Architecture

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  • Matthew Lawton, AIA

Project Status



6,180 sq. feet


Design Awards

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Project Description

The project scope involved a renovation and addition to an existing 1960 ranch house in the Belcaro neighborhood. The overarching vision was for an updated and expanded house that revived the mid-century spirit of the existing house and blended in with the neighborhood context. Over the years, there were many renovations to the home that created a convoluted floor plan, concealed original stonework, and closed off interior spaces from the large rear yard. Our approach was the strip away the layers to reveal the original framework of the house, and reintroduce minimal elements back into the space. Two original flagstone fireplaces, a flagstone exterior barbeque and a flagstone wall at the entry were retained, cleaned and in some cases unveiled. These elements served as the bookends/historical markers to the new opened-up space. New forms, clad in walnut, were inserted into the plan to delineate programmed spaces-- these elements act as furniture pieces, incorporating kitchen cabinets, coat closet, desk, pantry and bathrooms. New operable glass walls were positioned to create optimum indoor/outdoor connections. Three separate program zones were created at the exterior rear yard: • Recreational: Cabana room / swimming pool • Formal: Living room / covered terrace for dining / lounging • Kid’s Zone: Kid’s play room / terrace for kid’s activities The new second floor addition, containing all of the bedrooms, was positioned towards the rear to minimize the visual impact from the front. The new stair to this level is positioned adjacent to a new 2 story glass wall on the south side of the house to bring light into both levels. The house was re-skinned with a mix of variable-sized painted wood vertical slats that mimic patterns on neighborhood houses as well as stained cedar cladding on roof eaves and the garage door. Through a subtle manipulation of existing and new elements, this project represents a successful approach to both preserving a structure with historical significance and enhancing it for a modern lifestyle. For this reason, it is deserving of recognition.
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