The Stacked Modern House
The story of this house is one of site and views. The client acquired a 1960’s-era ranch house on an established residential street. The house was small, and our initial task was to simply add a floor. In studying the site, however, we realized that looking upward and across the street were excellent views of unbuildable wooded lands. In any other direction, steep slopes and closely adjacent neighbors resulted in vistas we thought less compelling.
We decided then that the entire second floor addition would be a “view box”. Each bedroom on this floor would receive a full wall of glass consisting of three or four individual bays. Additionally, one such bay would be open to the lower level, resulting a double-height living room that could be full of natural light and images of woodland beyond, yet relatively private from the street level. We suggested rotating the upper level relative to the lower level, for several reasons. This new angle takes better advantage of the lots buildable area and also better addresses the geometry of the street and adjacent residences. Also, it provides a longer protected garage area and the opportunity of an upper-level porch at the rear. After further studying the aesthetic and practicality of our upstairs addition, we decided to rebuild the lower level to the same footprint as the original building, but with contrasting cladding and an upgraded structural system to support the cantilevers our design entailed. This would yield a more complete and coherent design product.
The upper level contains a master suite, two regular bedrooms, and a library or play area. The lower level contains kitchen, dining, and living areas as well as a small study, second master suite and garage. Laundry is available on both floors.