Metcalfe Architecture & Design completed the renovation of a mid-century modern kit house in Conshohocken, PA, which included the design of a new master suite and renovation of bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, family and living room. The original building is one of a suite of three kit houses (by TechBuilt) constructed in 1955 by architect William Hough, Jr., and did not take full advantage of its location in the trees. A sky-lit, vaulted ceiling and kitchen were added in 1970.
Special considerations included the site location—a sloped site with dense woods which often resulted in flooding, water, and humidity damage; outdated building codes which permitted the original house to use thin walls and roof profiles; and drainage concerns from the 1970s addition, which dictated that it be separated from the existing building along a narrow dividing hallway. The bedrooms were sheltered under a pitched roofline and the kitchen addition was enclosed by cabinets.
Our design pushed the upper level of the house into the treetops, transforming it into a home in the sky, with an expanded second-floor living space and entry; and renovated kitchen, living areas, and bathrooms. We reconfigured the small, existing entrance into a sky-lit two story entry hall paved in slate, crossed above by a steel-and-glass footbridge. This hallway now leads a visitor into progressively more open kitchen, dining, and living spaces. In the kitchen area we minimized overhead cabinets which allowed for a band of windows that provide panoramic views of the outdoors.
The second-story master suite became a spacious, light-filled oasis with clerestory windows and eight-foot-tall glass doors that open onto the suite’s cantilevered balcony. The steel and tempered glass footbridge, fabricated by a local artisan, links the master bedroom and bath to the rest of the house. And, in-keeping with the house’s mid-century modern origins, horizontally-battened Hardie Board panels on the exterior work in concert with existing vertical battens, providing protection from the elements.
The Seidenberg House reflects MA&D’s focus on integrating play and romance into our designs—a master bedroom nestled in the treetops, evokes feelings of peace and solitude; while the house, surrounded by towering trees, solicits memories of childhood escape.