Renovations and additions interview – creating quality space

We’ve been receiving a number of inquiries regarding renovations and additions lately. And we’re not surprised – there is a large collection of building stock that was designed and built at a time when we were using spaces differently than we do today. That combined with the often needed repairs to older, maintenance-deferred buildings, we find that a comprehensive renovation can be a great way to transform a property into something far more useful and quite special. In a recent interview we were asked if we address these projects differently than ground-up designs. Below we share some excerpts from that conversation.

We approach each project very carefully and thoughtfully. We need to ask ourselves “what should be built”. In the case of a renovation / addition like our Midvale Courtyard House project, it isn’t enough just to tack on another room or add more space – that alone would not respect the existing structure or the surrounding neighborhood effectively. I see a project like this as an opportunity, almost an obligation, to reinvent the existing development. We want to seek an artful composition that reinforces a larger idea of improving the immediate environment.

The concept of renewing older homes like this is rooted in the larger ideas of sustainability and enlightened urban development. Pragmatic benefits include re-use of structure, reduction of waste, an increase in efficiency, and maintaining a proximity to the vibrant culture of an urban core. These are big ideas.

Better function for today’s modern living – this is what people come to us asking for. But it is the less quantifiable aspect of creating quality space that is the real message – space with an inherent sequence and scale, a strong connection to nature, a warmth, comfort and delight that engages the senses – this is what we are after.