Ames Residence

ALTADENA, California

Starting with a post-WWII concrete-block house with little room for horizontal expansion, we devised a strategy that adhered mostly to the original footprint but dramatically reshaped the volumes.

An existing attached one-car garage is deployed as an office/music niche. Its front wall is brought forward to the setback line and laps over the living area to introduce an entry foyer. Angled and offset from the existing house, it wraps into the curve of an ascending spiral stair. An asymmetric, diagonally oriented butterfly roof hovers over the new mezzanine and existing living room, doubling the height of the latter.

Light, planar materials of glass, lexan, perforated aluminum, corrugated steel, play off of the solidity of the original concrete block, transforming this dwelling into a contradiction of gravity and loftiness.

PHOTOS: Josh Mandojano