The homeowners hired Bakken Design Build to transform their existing 1914 Seattle bungalow into larger home that they could comfortably raise their family for years to come. They wanted the updated and expanded home to feel as if it’s always been there and not overpower the neighborhood with an out of scale design. Thoughout the design process, the topic of whether to tear down the existing house and start from scratch came up many times. The scope of work on this house was very close to the point where a complete tear down and rebuild was warranted. However it was important to the client and Bakken Design Build that portions of the existing house remain as a reminder and tribute to what stood before.
Balancing the shortcomings of the existing house with the client’s program, provided significant spatial and structural challenges. The existing house had a partially useable second floor accessed by a steep and narrow single run stair that divided up the house and created a small kitchen. The new design used a quarter landing stair placed in the middle of the home. This resulted in less wasted circulation space and allowed for a larger kitchen and light filled mudroom that could open up the the back yard. The entire second floor of the house was also removed. The new second floor has six foot tall interior side walls, a steep roof pitch, and gable dormers creating a well scaled exterior and a spatious interior with character. The steep pitch of the roof also allowed for a generous third floor attic space accessed by a pull down ladder. Bearing walls were removed on the main floor and replaced with steel flitch plate beams in the ceiling resulting in an open living, dining, and kitchen. Site painted maple built-in cabinets were seamlessly integrated into the millwork throughout the main floor. Materials used on the interior include 5” wide stained white oak floor and staircase, marble tile, handmade ceramic tile, and a black walnut island top.
In the end, the front porch, a handful of divided lite double hung windows, and the fireplace survived this substantial alteration. Each of those stand as a valuable reminder to the history and on-going story of the house.