Robert M. Cain, Architect; Carmen Stan, Project Architect; Fidel Denis, Design Team; Drew Bell, Graphics; Laura Sherman, Graphics
How a vaguely Eichler mid-century home came to be constructed in Virginia Highland is not known to the current owners. However, having lived in California, they recognized the form immediately and purchased the house.
Our assignment: on a tight $220,000 budget reorganize the chopped plan, expand the kitchen and dining area into the unusable carport, enhance the interior and exterior and renovate the basement.
In respect to the origins of the existing house we emphasized horizontality, added bands of glass, removed odd brackets, added a 5’-wide pivot door at the entry, replaced the siding and constructed a low horizontal wall to establish a public/private boundary. Parking for the house shifts from the inaccessible carport to an apron linked to the entry with concrete pavers.
We responded by emphasizing the horizontality found in Eichler designs: extending “wings” to each side for privacy, adding horizontal bands of glass, removing odd diagonal beam brackets, employing shiplap siding, adding a new 5’ wide pivot door and (given the immediacy of the house to the street) adding a low horizontal wall to establish a public/private boundary. Parking for the house shifts to an apron linked via a walk (to the right of the entry).
A new stair to the basement replaced a tight, torturous circular stair. Basement renovations include the boys’ bedroom, a mini-indoor soccer field for the couple’s two young sons, a guest bedroom addition, a new bath and a backyard deck.
Total conditioned space including additions is 1,400 square feet for the first floor and 1,400 square feet for the basement. Renovations and additions were accomplished on a very tight $220,000 budget.
Our efforts transcend applique by recognizing, elaborating, interpreting and enhancing near historic forms in a modern way.