For this remodel and addition to a one-story brick mid-century (1950s) modern house in the Houston Tanglewood neighborhood, we decided early in the process to retain only the exterior walls and the original, beautiful terrazzo floors to meet the owner’s new needs. Important for us was to give new life to the ‘historic’ low-slung brick structure and adopt the inward-oriented approach of the original house.
We decided to recast the form of the original house within the new, 21st-century context, with the volumetric addition of three new ‘pop-ups’ projecting above its original horizontal brick datum: two space/light monitors with the third pop-up being a second-floor bedroom/office area. The pop-ups we formed as discreet forms, allowing the old brick house to be the formal and historical basis.
In the living area, the third pop-up, the second floor, is clad in darkly painted plywood, visually pulling the rubber-shingle-clad volume inside. We envisioned this volume as ‘lowering’ its stair into the living space as would a metal-clad landing gear on an aircraft or a stair of an alien spacecraft.