Residential Design

VOL.4. 2018

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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Page 30 of 75

and design team on this house were interested in all these advan- tages when they decided to renovate instead of building anew. Principal-in-charge on the project, Alan Ohashi, AIA, isn't sure when the original house was built. "70s or 80s, maybe," he says. "It looked like the elementary school I used to go to. It had a big parking lot, a basketball court, and no windows to speak of. Walking around the house, it didn't really get any better. Not until you got around to the back and saw that view. That's why the clients bought the house." As is often the case, every- one underestimated the scope of the undertaking necessary to transform this sow's ear into a silk purse. And the project grew in ambition and quality as the timeline progressed. The result bears no resemblance to the original—except to those intimately familiar with the build- ing—and looks for all the world like a brand-new custom home, conceived and executed with architectural rigor right from the start. It's a testament to the clients' commitment to quality and the firm's flexibility, resilience, and vision in deal- ing with a somewhat improvisational project. Although most aspects of the original house were disap- pointing, Alan did like its shape and the clients were largely happy with its size. "It's basically a rectangle, and lots of good things happen with that shape." As was the norm of the period (whatever period it was), the ceilings of the old house were too low through- out. So, the basic plan of attack was to "raise the roof and remodel everything under it," says Alan. "The house didn't need to be bigger, it just needed to be better." That sounds easy, but of course it wasn't. Reconfiguring rooms and walls is never simple, and this house had plenty of divided spaces that required reuniting or at least opening up to sight lines and circulation flow. Improvements in energy Above: A small formal living area tucks into an alcove near the formal dining area, allowing unimpeded views from the window walls and glass sliders. Windows on the old house had been recently replaced. Additional units were added and previously installed ones were painted on site to match. "The house didn't need to be bigger, it just needed to be better." —Alan Ohashi, AIA 31 VOL. 4, 2018 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM

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