The Kearsarge Residence is a major renovation of the 1968 M.G. Residence by the Romanian-American mid-century modernist architect Haralamb H. Georgescu.
Located on a flag lot in Brentwood, California, the site for the Kearsarge Residence has a unique character as a forest within the city. The challenges of working on a historic architectural home is one filled with a unique set of choices. These choices arise from questioning what makes the house important as well as what elements deserve to be preserved and what can be changed to make the house comfortable and livable for years to come.
We don’t live today the way we lived forty five years ago and we will live differently forty five years from now. The goal was to honor Georgescu’s work by restoring the house to it’s true character where appropriate as well as updating the house in keeping with the original design spirit.
We began working on the house after decades of wear and tear as well as modifications by subsequent owners. For example, the open sight lines that are characteristic of Georgescu’s work was interrupted by an owner closing off of the office wall to create an additional bedroom. One of the first tasks was opening up this wall back to it’s original intent, so there is interaction between three levels: The Office, Loft and Living Room.
As we began to peel back layers of the existing building during construction, we discovered that the ceiling of the main space had a rich blue-grey tone that was simply painted over in white. With the uncovering of more elements, it was determined that the original architect extended this colored ceiling from from the Living Room to the the outdoor soffits, creating an indoor-outdoor effect when standing in the space.
Taking cues from the the original cabinetry, all casework was re-created in mahogany wood. The Dining Room Cabinetry was restored to the original details while most other areas used more modern detailing, but within the same language as the original design. Throughout the process we were constantly asking ourselves “What would Georgescu do today?” Picking up on the original white oak used on the stair treads, this became the species of choice used throughout. The new wood floors replaced large expanses of purple carpet and checkered linoleum.
On outside, a deteriorated wood decking was replaced with ipe wood while the wood railing posts and metal mesh was replaced with steel posts and a cable rail system. Under the ipe guardrail cap, an LED rope light gives a pleasant glow to the deck for evening and night time entertaining.
Kearsarge Residence, by Haralamb H. Georgescu, Restoration by © Kurt Krueger Architect
Connoisseurs architecture of the middle of the twentieth century, Michael and Gabrielle Boyd discovered a forgotten masterpiece of Oscar Niemeyer and brought him back to life.
Strick House, Santa Monica, California, USA, by Oscar Niemeyer
via: Architectural Digest
Read More: Strick House by Oscar Niemeyer I
The house is situated on a corner lot in the typical 30’s district ‘de Elzent’ against the natural landscape of the Dommel valley, in the center of Eindhoven. The existing main house is relatively small in structure, however, the lot size is sufficient enough to resist an carefully threaded extension. An extension where extra comfort is added to the existing house. The transparent addition to the house is a continuation of an earlier exterior expansion with thin floating concrete eaves. These overhangs give a balanced picture, allowing the spaces seamlessly to blend, and gives the garden an intimate enclosed character. The sightlines are important, creating separate spaces as a study niche, a lowered seating area with wide windowsills and a hanging fireplace. The roof connects the spaces seamlessly into each other. Much attention is paid to careful detailing. Positioning of roof lights, (curved) walls, steps, niches which store the curtains, floor heating and cooling ceiling, acoustic panels and lighting are seamlessly concealed and determine the appearance and character of the area.
House IV, Eindhoven, Netherlands by De Bever Architecten
Photography by Norbert van Onna
Casa Almare, Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, by Elias Rizo Arquitectos
Photography by Marcos García
With the façade radically horizontal, the Lee House is organized in a single volume ground-floor site. All of the rooms therefore, establish a strong relationship with the external, opening out to the garden. The spatial continuity with the living room is larger: all of the windows are recessed creating an extension of the external space, with a large veranda. The living room then prolongs the pool deck and crosses to the other side of the lot. These solutions are fit for the climate, the interior of the State of São Paulo, in the Brazilian southeast, which has elevated temperatures almost every day of the year. Strategies of traditional ambiental comfort of vernacular architecture and even Brazilian modern was used. The living room has cross-ventilation, which greatly lowers the internal temperature and the other rooms are protected by wooden muxarabis panels placed on sliding doors which filter the Sun without removing the ventilation. The front veranda is delimited by a foyer in the façade revealing two wooden boxes divided by the social area. The kitchen opens to the living room, encrusted in one of the boxes that hold the utility areas. The bar opens out to the social area and is contained in the box that holds the bedroom as well. At the end of the corridor of the bedrooms, which can also be accessed from the outside of the house, there is a spa delimited by external walls and composed by a gym room, a sauna and a small outdoor pool encircled by the deck. Besides the wood of the wooden boxes, the house is clad by White mortar and the internal patio of the spa is encircled by stones. The few materials used by the Lee house and the simple organization of the program create a minimalist atmosphere that extends from the outer to the inner areas of the house.
Lee House, Porto Feliz, São Paulo, Brazil, by Studio MK27 – Marcio Kogan + Eduardo Glycerio, Photography © FG+SG – Fernando Guerra
One-story Building of Nakatsu, Nakatsu, Japan, by Matsuyama Architects and Associates
The home is a rectilinear volume with a mostly horizontal framework, and various openings that allow an abundant amount of light to reach the interior. The main floor reveals an expansive glass door wall that retracts to allow the living room to open up into the private yard and pool. Delving further into the space, the architects decided to put large vertical strips of windows as well as linear skylights to illuminate essential features such as the stairwell.
Zacatitos 004, Baja California Sur, Mexico, by Campos Leckie Studio
House Philipp is situated on a small mountain ridge in Southern Germany with a view to the north. To meet this specific situation, the cube of the main house was completely glazed with frameless windows. This way the residents enjoy both the sun and the 80-kilometres distant view. There is a cube placed in this glass box as a key element, completely panelled with Elm Wood. It contains both the kitchen and staircase and at the same time it forms the static backbone for the attic placed on it. Only few materials as the light gray natural stone, elm or oak wood, and smooth white plaster surfaces determine the ascetic architecture. Purism, which even shows in the landscape gardening.
House P, Waldenburg, Germany, by Philipp Architekten