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It's hard to tell the new from the old in this remodeled house – and that's exactly what was intended when the architect designed a new addition

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Houses built around the turn of the last century have plenty of character, but they can also be a little too formal for modern family living.

This house, for example, reflected the typical architecture of the period. The formality of the exterior and entry was echoed on the interior, which meant the kitchen was in a room of its own with no real family living space.

The new owners embarked on an extensive remodeling program, which included updating and expanding the kitchen to incorporate a family room, adding a new bedroom for their infant daughter, and adding a resistance swimming pool in the basement.

Architect Joseph G Metzler of SALA Architects was commissioned to design the addition, which was built by Vujovich Design Build.

Metzler says the only area where they could expand the house was to push it out towards a garage, which was connected to the house by a raised trellis walkway.

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"The property already had a wonderful garden and a terrace off the formal living room," Metzler says. "We didn't want the addition to impact on these features. The size of the addition was also confined by property setbacks and the existing steps leading down from the terrace. We needed to pack a lot of things into a small footprint."

Metzler says the design needed to retain the key axes of the house and garden, and the sense of symmetry.

The existing kitchen was consequently remodeled and extended into the first floor of the addition. This created a large, south-facing family room with French doors opening to the garden. On the upper level, the addition is a slightly smaller volume housing the child's bedroom and a new laundry room.

"One of the key challenges for the design was the need to integrate the addition with the existing buildings on the property, which are quite different" says Metzler. "The house is red brick, but the garage is stucco with a brick base. We needed to find a way to tie in the garage and make all the pieces fit together."

The solution was to clad the upper level of the addition in red brick, while the first floor features a white-painted pavilion-style element linked to a stucco-and-brick form that mimics the garage.

"The white-painted part of the addition was designed to provide a visual connection to the trellis," says the architect. "It features similar columns and pilasters at the front. The low-pitched roof of the second story addition reflects the low-pitched roof of the south sunroom."

The white trellis walkway between the garage and the house was removed to make space for the addition. But part of the trellis was reinstated in its original form.

Builder Ed Roskowinski of Vujovich Design Build says wherever possible the construction team salvaged materials to reuse.

"As well as restoring part of the trellis, we were able to salvage the red bricks. Around 70% of the bricks are from a chimney we removed on site."

Access was a key challenge for the builders, largely due to the retaining walls around the boundary. Roskowinski says the team built a ramp over the sidewalk and wall to allow vehicle access. A section of landscaping, including a topiary garden was temporarily removed, then reinstated.

First published date: 26 April 2011

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Credit List

Remodeling architect Joseph G Metzler AIA, Steven Buetow AIA, Jared Banks AIA, SALA Architects, Inc (Minneapolis, MN)
Builder Ed Roskowinski, Vujovich Design Build, Inc
Original landscape design Richard Laffin Architects, Inc
Original planting design and installation Herb Baldwin
Original pergola fabrication and construction Eric J Hansen AIA and Carl Hines
Siding Salvaged brick, and Boral 17th century Series Woodmould brick in French Quarter, supplied by Twin City Brick & Stone
Stone caps, sills and steps Mix of salvaged and new buff-colored Minnesota dolomitic limestone, supplied by Twin City Brick & Stone
Stucco Traditional three-coat, by Donnelly Brothers
Membrane roofing Carlisle SynTec, Inc. Sure-White EPDM roof system supplied and installed by Tradition Roofing and Exteriors, Inc
Pitched roofing GAF Timberline asphalt shingles, supplied and installed by Tradition Roofing and Exteriors, Inc
Doors at front Marvin Windows and Doors, supplied by Shaw/Stewart Lumber Co
Windows Marvin Ultimate double-hung wood windows and Ultimate inswing French doors, supplied by Shaw/Stewart Lumber Co
Paints Benjamin Moore
Paving Anchor Holland pavers, salvaged, cleaned and reinstalled
Stone retaining walls Dry-stacked Fond du Lac natural stone