Aside from our annual design awards winners, the most viewed story on residential architect’s website is a 2004 piece on remodeling ubiquitous American house types—including mid-20th century suburban homes. This topic’s popularity is no doubt driven by the thousands of homeowners saddled with outdated housing located in desirable neighborhoods.
Although architects love to tackle the new custom homes that often win our awards, their best supply of work may come from unlocking the potential of these aging ranches and split-levels. Matthew and Maria Salenger, AIA, of colab studio created an exciting example of design’s transformative power with their own 1950s ranch remodel in Tempe, Ariz. (shown below). And yes—it, too, won a residential architect Design Award. Architects are the masters of reinvention—a skill we’ll need more than ever in the next 15 years we chronicle.
View more photos of this project and other recent mid-century makeovers in our slideshow.