Charlotte, NC
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Project Description

Bordering the historic district of Dilworth, this post WWII era house was built in 1949. Although minimal in size at 1103 SF with rather basic design, it was a solid well-built house with brick veneer and pleasant front elevation with a chimney and small front porch.

The owners, a newly engaged couple, desired to preserve the viable features of the home and site while expanding living space on a reasonable budget.
The existing house presented two major challenges impacting design:
  1) The driveway was on the left and the kitchen was on the right of the typical narrow and deep city lot.
  2) The site sloped up from the street to a relatively level rear yard.

The 2800 SF plus plan maintained the formal parlor with fireplace and converted the kitchen and rear bedroom into the master suite. Spaces were reoriented and reallocated to maintain the viability of walls, structure, oak flooring and original window openings and unpainted brick exterior. Clever design transformed a dining room and kitchen into a cloakroom, master bath and closet, making bedroom space into a kitchen. The result completely reversed the nature of the original house while maintaining the character. The master bedroom downstairs, the open floor plan with upstairs loft and bedrooms for future, (study for now) met all of the clients objectives.

The addition coalesced the old and new by creating a large vaulted room at an intermediate level open to the kitchen and stair loft above. This concept resolved the rear grade and water runoff issue while providing a meaningful transition to upstairs and rear yard for entertainment. The large array of windows gives an abundance of sunlight and openness. Technical issues of waterproofing and structure and routing of HVAC made the project challenging.

The rather simple box design of the main house with an opposing rear vaulted gable was articulated with false eaves, decorative gable trusses and cantilevered bay for effect. An added section of porch transformed the front for a true sitting area. It introduced the stone material for street appeal while maintaining the front yard tree with a semicircular front drive. Participation and teamwork by owner, architect and A.R.I. contributed to the success of this attractive home.

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