A Smooth Transition

In December 2018 / January 2019, Retreat, Stuff by Jane PorterLeave a Comment

Share this Post

Photographs by Keith Issacs

When old design meets new, there’s often an element of surprise to the final result. For a residence in Raleigh’s Historic Cameron Park neighborhood, architect Katherine Hogan and designer Vinny Petrarca, the principals of Tonic Design, created an air of the unexpected that’s seamless and deferential, but also practical and beautiful, all at once.

The married partners added 1,600 square feet to a 1916, red brick Georgian Revival-style home located in a neighborhood known for its own blend of old and new, of parkland and residential lots and of public and private spaces. The addition, an open floor kitchen and living space on the first level and a master bedroom suite on the second, is bound by the mass of the existing house, unobtrusive in terms of its view from the street and in how it preserves, rather than absorbs, the lot’s spacious backyard.

“Our scheme maximized the backyard and really tried to make that a space inside the project,” Petrarca says. “This is a good example of being in an established neighborhood, adding what you want and co-existing with the old, versus just razing the whole thing and throwing it away.”

Laney Brothers Construction built the addition using Corten steel, glass and natural wood siding, contrasted with the home’s old brick facade to facilitate modern living and an integrated relationship between the inside and the outdoors. No walls obtrude the space between the minimalist kitchen and dining area on one end of the structure and the cozy nook with a fireplace, framed by built-in shelves, on the other. Sunlight floods the bottom floor, while adjustable louvers shade the master bedroom up top. The old part of the home, a series of quaint rooms with small windows and charming features, including pocket doors and a hallway fireplace, is separated from the modern addition by a narrow, double-height, light-filled, interstitial space, helmed by a new perforated metal staircase and tall windows located at either end.

There was a functional reason for the separation in addition to its unique, pleasing aesthetic: it allowed the home’s old gabled roof to meet the addition’s flat one, preserving the home’s rear brick wall and windows and creating a smooth transition between differing floor and ceiling heights. “Our clients really wanted a modern floor plan,” Petrarca explains, “so we went with this separated addition, with this modern box in the back.”

For this Cameron Park addition, Tonic Design was honored with a 2018 Merit Award from the North Carolina chapter of the American Institute of Architects this fall, the 11th time Hogan and Petrarca have received an AIA NC Design Award. Their body of work includes the Form and Function building in Five Points and the Art as Shelter pavilion at the NC Museum of Art park.

“We really enjoy repurposing existing buildings and giving them new life,” Hogan says. “We wanted to preserve the integrity of the old house and the way that is addressed in the neighborhood. That was the shared goal of the clients and we wanted to respect that and to try to make it all work together.”

Share this Post

Leave a Comment