Hereâ€™s another new project in the office, an addition to a residence on Capital Hill. The existing house is a tiny 750 sq. ft. bungalow on one of Seattleâ€™s steepest streets. The owners found the compact plan a perfect fit when they first moved in, but two kids later, they desperately need more room. They are drawn of the core values of modern architecture â€“ emphasis on natural light, spaces that flow together, honest and straightforward materials â€“ and want a house that expresses that. They are comfortable making a pretty bold statement, but they also want the addition to feel comfortable in the existing fabric of the neighborhood. They are interested in sustainability that is designed in from the ground up, which led to the early decision to preserve the existing structure instead of starting from scratch on the site.
How to add onto an existing building that has a well-defined or historical style is a perennial architectural puzzle (and hip roofs are especially difficult to achieve seamless integration). In this case, we approached it by creating a clear contrast between the new and the old through form, material and color. But itâ€™s not enough to just plunk a contemporary form next to an old house and expect a real conversation to take place. In this addition, the new and old talk to each other both in how the volumes intersect and in how the two differing styles overlap.