Ridge Court Residence


The owners had lived in the neighborhood since the kids were small, but they were outgrowing the house which only had two bedrooms and a tiny ‘sewing room’ that passed as a bedroom for one of their teenage boys. The kitchen cabinet doors were falling off the hinges and it was time for a renovation. The owners wanted the addition, which had to conform to tight zoning restrictions, to reflect their modern taste without turning its back on the character of the existing home, which they also like. How do you design an addition that is modern while fitting in with a traditionally designed home?

After studying several plan and exterior options, it became clear that the answer lay in the home’s materiality and geometry. We created an addition that references the original home’s slate-clad mansard roof and dormers, but creates something completely new. Where the existing house has small symmetrical dormers for single windows, we created a wide, asymmetrically positioned dormer for the boys’ bedrooms that uses the sloped wall geometry to incorporate a desk, built in book shelves and reading nooks. Slate from the demolished portion of the existing roof was re-used and new slate blends seamlessly with the old. The tight rear setback did not apply to decks so we were able to expand the first floor with outdoor living space for eating, sitting and playing ping pong. We were fortunate to have a great client committed to good design and materials. The addition is traditionally framed with a steel beam picking up the load of the original second floor bearing wall. Closed cell foam insulation makes for a tight, well insulated envelope and the first floor fly-ash siding is kerf cut and painted to reference the beige brick on the front of the home.