michael k. wilkinson, photographs of architecture &


flipping the program


Category: architecture. Client: greg(g) horgan architecture. August 2015. Remarkable transformation of a worn down ranch-style rental house into a clean, modern family home. In front, the home is above grade on the upper level only, but because of site topography, it has two full stories at the rear. Originally, most of the living space was contained on the top floor (kitchen, living/dining, three bedrooms, one bathroom), with a walk-out basement on the lower level containing a fourth bedroom, second bathroom, garage and a large unfinished storage area. It seemed a shame that the home’s large wooded back yard was accessed through such secondary spaces, though, so the architects flipped the program and put a large open kitchen/dining/living area on the lower level with large sliding glass doors opening to the back yard. On the below-grade side of the house, they inserted a mud room, play room, homework/study room, powder room and mechanical room, making optimal use of every square foot on both below- and above-grade sides of the lower level. On the upper level, the architects converted the former public spaces (living, dining, kitchen) into a piano room in front and a luxurious master suite at the rear of the house, and updated the old bedroom wing into three updated bedrooms and three full baths. Tying the two levels together is a dramatic double-volume foyer with a vaulted ceiling with three skylights, open-riser stairs, and a beautiful feature wall with stacked stone and a stainless steel frame.