With a remodeling project, a successful outcome often requires recognizing the value of exploiting a particular feature.
When the house next door to architects Gary Beyerl and Dawn Heid came onto the market, they saw its potential. The structure, built onto one end of a long, narrow site, was a simple, two-level box, divided into six apartments. What made it especially attractive was that it had two street frontages.
Beyerl and Heid decided to keep the existing envelope and add a new, three-level building onto one end of it. Together, the new and old buildings provide sufficient space for four small apartments, to be tenanted, plus a larger apartment for themselves and their family with room for a studio office area.
"To make space for all these purposes, we came up with a multi-level arrangement, with the garage at the lowest level of our home, half a level lower than the existing first floor," says Beyerl.
"Joining the new and old buildings was a challenge, but we saw it as an opportunity to create a dynamic space extending over various levels. We felt the multi-level solution would be more interesting than a straightforward connection between the new and old sections."
The resulting three-story house now has four half-levels, plus a third floor running across the whole building at one level five levels in all. The tenanted apartments are in the original part of the house, and the owners' apartment and garage is mostly in the new section. New stairs through the center of the house divide the two sections.