Michael McCrum's house addition in the historic center of Larchmont
The project is located in Larchmont, a small suburban village located just north of New York City. The existing house (originally a barn) was moved to this property around 1900 and converted into a single family residence. The shared living space was small and confined.
The rear portion of the existing house abutting the rear yard was the desired location for the new living room addition. This space was previously occupied by a screen porch which was shaded by a sixty foot high tree with a sixty foot wide shading canopy. As a starting point, winter and summer sun angles were studied. The rear portion of the house faces directly south and glass openings facing south were maximized to allow views and sun penetration in the winter months. The existing tree and calculated overhangs provide total shading in the summer months. Concrete walls were designed to capture and hold the heat in the winter months.
In addition to environmental concerns, the local architectural review board agreed the project as long as the modern elements were not seen from the street. The traditional portion of the house was restored to match original details - new double hung windows with painted shutters and stained cedar siding were installed. The two opposing styles inspired the design for the new addition. Constraints were exploited by installing side walls constructed of 12" thick concrete with steel beams spanning the entire width. This allowed the installation of floor-to-ceiling non-bearing glass walls along the entire south facade. A method was developed to manually screen the glass walls by creating a series of sliding panels which are hung from the ceiling. The panels can also be used in the evenings to help contain the heat and for appropriate functions which require varying degrees of privacy. A glass floor and linear skylight separate the new addition from the old and provide natural light for the lower children's playroom. This transition between new and old celebrates components of modern living; the theory from science and precise thoughts. The exterior envelope from the street is not disrupted.