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We started with the large, front gable and made that the focus of the front facade. A large porch stair centered on the gable and reinforced the entry into the house. This required moving the driveway to the front.
The driveway then continued around the house to the new garage location where the everyday functions were grouped together. This kept the functional areas out of the way of the formal, front entry as well as away from the pool and deck in the back. With the requirement for additional outside parking (the kids were growing up) we put a new back door entrance to the side of the garage where the mudroom connects the new garage to kitchen. Extending the front porch to this back entry created the wrap-around porch.
The “wrap” layout was taking shape but we needed to create a consistent aesthetic and massing. We looked to the roofs and base to give a strong overall organization to the outside appearance. Stone dug from within the property was used to create a consistent masonry base around the entire house. At the front entry, the stone was used at the main stair and the stair side walls.
Along the porch, the stone rose up as piers to hold up the multiple columns. The stone continued around the garage and deck. At the family room, the stone rose to the height of the entire first floor thus giving the entertainment room with bedroom above a strong presence from the side street. Then the stone dropped down again and was replaced with windows and wood detailing to create the bright, airy effect of the sunroom portion of the entertainment room.

All the new roofs took their cues from the original roofs: New roofs were all pitched; Soffits were made very deep; Fascia boards were made very wide and for a little extra touch, new brackets were added to old and new soffits. In addition to the roofs, the massing of the new components was studied carefully. The front gable gave the house a formal focus. The mass was then broken down by adding the one story porch and sunroom. This allowed the larger reading while also offering a smaller, personal scale. In the back, the massing was designed to feel like successive additions which reduced in size from the main house roof to the bedroom roof gables to the garage roof to the horizontal laundry windows and finally to the deck. Again, this allowed the massing to change from the larger, whole house reading down to the personal scale at the rear yard.

Altogether, the design created a unified aesthetic for the entire house inspired by the best design elements of the original structure. Major credit goes to the homeowners for their serious interest in good design. Also, credit must be given to them for their extreme patience. They actually lived in the house during construction. At one point early on, the entire perimeter was excavated like a moat.

As with all good castles, every moat gets a drawbridge. Every day, the drawbridge was raised and lowered to accommodate the comings and goings of the homeowners while not disturbing the work of the masons and carpenters. Work and home life coexisted while the house received its extreme makeover.

Eventually, the drawbridge disappeared, the construction came to an end, the plantings were in, and the homeowners were happy.
And that, as we say, is a wrap.

Contact: Bart Hamlin, Hamlin Goldreyer Architects "Serving Connecticut & Westchester"
Phone: 914 472-4724 Fax: 914 472-0309
E-mail: hga33@aol.com
Web Site: www.hamlingoldreyerarchitects.com