The renovation of a private residence on a wooded and exurban site near Iowa City

Architects: substance
Location: United States
Year: 2015
Area: 4.725 ft²/ 438 m²
Photo courtesy: Paul Crosby
Description:

“This renovation of a private residence on a wooded, exurban site near Iowa City, Iowa draws upon the imbedded formal logic of the original structure to create a contemporary home for a family of four. The three “slices” (eating, living, sleeping) implicit in the existing home were reinforced. The angled wall at the entry was straightened and realigned to clarify the plan. Interior partitions separating the dining space from the kitchen and living spaces were removed to create large, open volumes.

The stair was relocated to open up the living area, and the thresholds between slices were delineated. Wall–to-wall operable openings were placed at the ends of the “slices” to connect the airy, day-lit interior to the wooded site and enhance the sense of entry from the street. Finally, a large deck was created to unify the rear elevation and provide space for exterior entertaining. While the renovation added less than 300 square feet to the home, the visual impact is immense.

A limited material palette was used throughout to further unify the home. New fenestration connects the owners to the wooded site, as well as providing a more welcoming entry, and the new deck allows the interior to spill out into the woods. The result is a thorough transformation that takes full advantage of the home’s site, interior volume, and daylight to create a modern contemporary home.”