The Czech émigré architect, Ladislav Rado’s famous modern house built in 1956-57, provided the original context for its renovation. Exemplary of its time, the building reflects the simplicity and directness of the relationship to the outside and to the landscape, with influences from Japan. The current clients came to us with a house that had been compromised by a postmodern 1980s renovation. A half-round stair tower had been added and the original cantilever over the ravine filled in with a bedroom addition. It was not only gratifying to renovate and respect the original intention, but to also add a more modern program and to build in the flexibility for change.
Challenges included the restriction that only 1,000 SF could be added to the original house and a limited project budget. By utilizing an Architect Led Design Build process, costs were reduced by a third and the budget was met.
The current renovation preserves the ‘floating box’ form by restoring the second floor cantilever, wrapping the whole upper box with a new hi-tech wood cladding. An expanded palette of materials includes new double insulated glass to update the original rabbeted window frame detail and floor to ceiling glass sliders preserve the existing glass expression which opens up views to the woods from the master bedroom suite.
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