Friday, October 8, 2010

Contextual Minimalism is the path to sustainability

click on any image above for more detail
Contextual Minimalism is the path to Sustainability

The existing home in Winchester, Massachusetts is a simple and elegant colonial revival home with exterior landscaping that complements it. The exterior siding has large cedar clapboards that are quite impressive with 7 inch exposure as compared to today’s standard exposure of 3 to 4 inches. This detail adds to the property’s unique quality and signals a time when good craftsmanship and quality materials were a standard for home construction. We believe in continuing this concept of good craftsmanship and use of quality materials in our projects today. This is the core of sustainable construction and design, and it only works when the occupants’ goal is to live a sustainable lifestyle.

Our clients are a retired couple who sought a place where they could entertain their grandchildren, and update their kitchen in the meantime. We explored options that would improve the existing function of the kitchen area as well as engage this area better with the rear landscape. A 10 feet by 5 feet bay was added at the rear to allow a home for the breakfast table. The balance of the rear addition was a larger covered porch that welcomes a bench for reading when it is raining but also pays homage to the existing covered porch that was demolished. The side elevation was also increased by 5 feet to allow for a proper mudroom off the new covered porch, with slate flooring that is more welcoming for wet and muddy boots. The kitchen was designed in the same minimalistic spirit of the overall project renovation with slick maple cabinets and stainless steel hardware that complement each other. A new island incorporates a sink that functions well with the cooktop location as well as the refrigerator, and allows the chef to keep the conversation going while preparing the meal.

The family room was also in the mix of the renovation and addition. Our clients at one time were considering adding a larger room at this location. The current family room was 17 feet by 11 feet wide, which sounds like a large space but when it was furnished felt crowded and did not flow well. Please take a moment and click on the before and after floor plans for an illustration of the problem. We like to have a conversation with our clients on how they intend to furnish the room so the design can reflect and enhance its use. The new design should also consider multiple furniture arrangements and uses so the space can be adaptable to more than one use. I suggested a small bay that was symmetrically placed on the side elevation that would look balanced on the front and side without disrupting the symmetrical fa├žade. 3d modeling was presented to our clients to illustrate this concept so they could believe in a design as much as we do. The introduction of this bay allows for a 14 feet wide room that allows their furniture to layout well with ample circulation.

We enjoyed documenting this small project because it illustrates how small projects can have large benefits to how it functions. This is the core in sustainable design.
Less is sometimes more.

Love the painted black gutters!

Builder : Shawn Favreau
Favreau Construction
29 Putnam Lane
Danvers, MA 01923

Architect: Eric H. Gjerde AIA
The MZO Architectural Group
Stoneham, Ma

Friday, January 1, 2010

Prism Award 2009 Gold Medal Eric H. Gjerde

click on image above for more detail
Black aluminum clad
Marvin double hung windows
make for a
great historic look
as well as
making the windows
Eric H. Gjerde AIA

Monday, June 1, 2009

Second Empire Home

Second Empire
Roof dormers with ears
working shutters
black windows
Eric H. Gjerde AIA

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Curb appeal - Second Empire Home

click on image above
After Concept
New Paint and siding
Wood Quoined Corners
Exposed brick Base
New Front Porch & Columns
Iron Cresting at Roof
Existing Home

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Historic Home in Medford, Ma

Use existing
to create
an opportunity
for a covered
Eric H. Gjerde AIA