Dwell Home Tours
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Saturday, November 10, 2012
Bringing the outdoors in—and vice versa—was the dictum for an overdue renovation.
“This remodel takes the character of the existing house from 1948 and expands it,” says James Brown of Public Architecture and Planning, who with co-principal James Gates and project manager Michael Paluso reworked a 2,300-square-foot postwar home to make it more conducive to indoor-outdoor living. Its new design scheme includes a series of pavilions linked together by a trellised walkway and garden spaces, creating a tightly composed site plan in which the client can easily transition between indoors and out. “The most important feature is how the home interacts with the landscape around it,” adds Brown.
Resident Kathryn Harris worked closely with the firm on the overall plan. “In 2006, I began the process of the long-awaited remodel,” says Harris. “I knew I didn’t want to lose my home’s cozy charm, but I had an urge to bring a design element that the location truly deserves. One of the favorite features of my home has always been the relationship between the outside and inside. Now I love how the inside space has a view of the landscaping at every point, truly bringing the outside in. I feel that the house that exists today is the house that is meant to be here.”
About the Architect
James Brown & James Gates
Public Architecture & Planning
In 1989 James Brown and James Gates began a collaborative process that has spanned the disciplines of architecture, furniture and public art. With the formation of Public, the two principal partners began their open studio practice. The first projects were furniture and assemblage, with both Brown and Gates frequently participating in architecture and furniture exhibitions. In this early stage of the practice, out of necessity, they began to build their own projects and discovered the strength of the piece could be enhanced if the architect continued the design process through construction. In this way they learned to build. Brown and Gates are general contractors as well as architects and have carried the tradition of architect as master builder into the present. They share a dedication to “slow architecture”, a belief that details can be explored and realized simultaneously, in the field, as opportunities present themselves.