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Gardner Mohr Architects LLC

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dmadsen, hanley wood, llc

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2,600 sq. feet


  • Amy E Gardner AIA LEED-AP


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Project Description

The more this house changed, the more it stayed the same--in spirit, that is. Built in 1969, the house faces south on a wooded, sloping, unusually shaped lot. The position and orientation of the house are ideal for views, passive solar and natural ventilation, and for the creation of secluded outdoor spaces. With poor construction characteristic of its era, compounded by considerable deterioration, the house suffered a major blow--burst pipes rendered the house uninhabitable, prompting the owners to either raze or resuscitate their home. Constrained by zoning codes, an existing footprint, a goal of preserving existing trees, in particular a tree within a mere few feet of the south facade, and motivated to “build tight and ventilate right” as the foundation of energy-minded design, the owners desired to preserve the treehouse-like house. Embarking on a whole-house renovation that would improve the general building fabric and systems, they sought to extend the sense of living out of doors in all seasons and to add strategically, including an enlargement to the existing master bath. Connections to the site are enhanced through the creation of new and larger window and door openings. Porches and decks hover above the sloped, wooded site. The new kitchen and bathrooms allow for opportunities to feel out-of -doors while cooking, dining, and bathing. The master bathroom is perched at the top of the south facade, with views to the east and west, capturing the morning and setting sun. The particular focus of the submission is the redesign of the building enclosure – bringing in daylight and natural cross ventilation, the new design maximizes the benefits of available sun in winter and abundant shade in summer. Strategies that guide the environmental choices for this project include envelope improvements, updated mechanical systems, and on-site stormwater management.
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