Situated on a long narrow site, the features of the existing ranch-style house were limited. It's placement along the Black River and the existing walk-out lower level provided some opportunities that made the house worth saving. Extensive additions and alterations to the house doubled the original size.
The existing footprint of the house was maintained and additions to the front created a simple symmetrical entrance courtyard which was extensively landscaped to provide softness and shading from the western sun exposure. By utilizing angular shaped elements, the renovations to the rear of the house facilitated the desire to capture south light and views of the Black River. A second story reading tower allows vistas through the trees to the river.
One of the more enjoyable aspects of this project was the participation of the owner throughout both the design and construction process. Design charrettes were utilized to evaluate a variety of major design concepts and construction details. The owner, acting as general contractor, worked side by side with subcontractors in the construction of nearly every component of the project. Many of the materials were hand selected by the owner, including hardwood flooring from Amish mills.