The new owners of a 35-year-old vacation home in New York decided they wanted more space. So they hired the architects, Bates Masi + Architects, who designed the original home, to design the renovation. The renovation project is known as the Re-Cover House, and it’s featured on the cover of Dwell Magazine’s April 2009 issue. It will also be featured at the AIA’s 2009 convention.
One of the most notable aspects of the renovation is that careful attention was placed on salvaging original materials for re-use, as they were dismantled from the structure in the process of building the addition.
Dwell’s cover features a before and after picture of the home’s interior and leads readers inside the magazine for the cover article, “Before & After: Five Great Renovations.” The article explains that reusing material made the update so seamless as to be invisible, although this almost imperceptible difference belies the cost and time it took to achieve it. The contractor reused all 12-inch cypress boards from the old deck and former south-facing wall, carefully stripping and recutting each one to serve as the predominant building material for the renovation. “There’s a nice character in all the wood that’s here,” explains Masi. “When you’re adding new elements it can be hard to maintain that, and by recycling a lot of it we updated the house but kept it in the same vernacular.” The aged wood provides uniformity to the cypress, which permeates the overall home experience—even down to the sense of smell.
“Original wood was reused for the new siding, stair treads, scrim material, and risers,” writes Bridgette Steffen for Inhabitat. “This allowed the exterior of the house to retain its original patina, which could have never been achieved with brand new materials — making it difficult to tell where the new begins and the old ends.”
The article for Inhabitat, whose tag line is “design will save the world,” says, “We love that this house has retained its original character, and required very little new material to do so. The renovation expanded and updated all of the bathrooms with new fixtures and revamped counter tops. The kitchen and dining terrace were also modernized and enlarged. Dense, glacial sedimentary sandstone is used as counter top material, with rough and polished finishes, throughout the house. The owners are happier with their additional square footage and modern updates, and no trees were sacrificed in the upgrade of this house.”
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