18 Riverview Heights

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INTRODUCTION Area: 1,400 sf (before) 3,090 sf (after) Date of Completion: 2002 This reworking of a 1949 ranch style home in a central neighborhood establishes strong links between house, site and community. Extensive transparency, reinforced by lighting, visually connects interior and exterior spaces. New and recycled local materials – quartzite from local quarries and salvaged from downtown streets and slate salvaged from local high schools – anchor the home to the site and to the history of the community.


SITE Parcel 18 of the Riverview Heights addition. A 1,400 sf, 1949, 2 bedroom, one bath house was built near the center of a 100’-0” x 225’-0” lot, approximately 12 feet above street elevation. A steep 140-foot long driveway was partially shared with a neighbor. Beautiful fifty-yearold black hills spruce trees and growing perennial gardens fill the yards.

PROGRAM The 1949 ranch house was the smallest house in this established neighborhood. The owners wanted to expand the house to better accommodate their lifestyle and better utilize the site.

Main Level (before)

Lower Level

PROGRAM Both owners are avid readers and art enthusiasts with growing book and art collections. They enjoy reading, cooking, and gardening and wanted to be able to work at home in the evenings and on weekends. They wanted to establish a close relationship between the inside and outside and to use natural, local, meaningful materials. It was important to retain the essence of the original house while personalizing its image and organization.

PROGRAM Ranch style roof pitches and 8’-0� ceilings are transformed from liabilities to assets in the creation of a variety of comfortable indoor and outdoor spaces for reading, gardening, cooking and entertaining.

PROJECT The project added a new master suite over a three-car garage connected to the existing house with a new gallery. The existing bedrooms become a guest suite. The old driveway is removed and landscaped and a new, low-slope driveway added. The front yard is regraded using dry-laid quartzite retaining walls.

PROJECT The entryway and dining areas are converted to a library, the garage converted to a kitchen and the kitchen converted into a dining room. Patios are added on the east, south and west sides.

DESIGN CONCEPTS Establish strong relationship between interior and exterior; blur the line separating inside from outside. • Strong connection to screened porch. • Driveway treated as a plaza, as much for pedestrian as vehicular activity. • Use of quartzite pavers on base of addition and in driveway. • Use of dry-laid quartzite retaining walls. • Stair which extends from inside to outside.

DESIGN CONCEPTS Establish strong relationship between interior and exterior; blur the line separating inside from outside. • Arrangement of windows. • Interior/exterior vistas/views. • Patios on 3 sides for use at different times of the day in different seasons, access via french doors with virtually invisible screens.

DESIGN CONCEPTS Use natural and artificial lighting to add warmth and drama.

DESIGN CONCEPTS Explore the potential of and build on the humility of the ranch style. • Retain roof slopes, overhangs. • Modulate ceiling heights to extract the maximum potential of the 8 foot ceilings using 6’-8” transitions. Establish strong circulation patterns.

DESIGN CONCEPTS Overlay an organizing system of horizontal lines. • Weave the various elements of the house together.

DESIGN CONCEPTS Traditional hearth and modern hearth set on opposite walls in library.

DESIGN CONCEPTS Use of natural and “found” materials • Slate chalkboards salvaged from the owners’ high schools. • Wood shingles. • Wood and limestone floors with slate transitions. • Wood and stainless steel counter tops. • Stainless trim and hardware. • Copper gutters and downspouts.

DESIGN CONCEPTS Create a variety of great places for favorite activities. • Reading • Cooking • Gardening • Entertaining