Julia over at Hooked on Houses is hosting her "Hooked on Friday's" blog party. This is my third try.
This is the 2009 Shutze Award winner for small renovations. Atlanta architect, D. Stanley Dixon, designed it but architecture tourists are the big winners. If you can find it, you'll be glad you did. The prize rewards the interior as well but the exterior is good enough in itself. (Other 2009 Shutze Award Winners.)
To me, the scale and the detailing produce the charm. The eye is happy looking everywhere. It takes a lot of effort, time, and money, to make it look effortless.
So many details: We see plenty of gambrel roofs in Dutch colonial homes. Whatever the practical effect, the psychological effect of a gambrel room is a more "grounded," approachable home. The prominent, center gable isn't typical Dutch colonial here. But it is typical of the Cape Dutch Style. That is, in colonial South Africa.
The gable details: the arched window with a prominent keystone, and almost Gothic real shutters. The balustrade is a Georgian feature I think.
Both center and end gables are not only gambrel, they curve. The curve evokes a thatched roof. Also a Cape Dutch feature.
These are no ordinary dormers. There are pilasters, entablature, and a very deep and prominent pediment. This is serious stuff, these dormers and visually worthy of flanking the center gable. And...
have you ever seen an 8 over 12 window? You can't even special order them at Home Depot. You only get this with great owners, great architects, and great budgets.
We're not done with windows yet. The 1st floor windows have prominent entablatures. You can't praise real shutters enough, the angles and the shadows keep the eye moving and pleased.
We layman enjoy the shadows without understanding how important they are to artists and architects. Shadows are in play everywhere in the details.
More shadows in the eaves, overhangs, and thick clapboards.
Where does that leave the entrance? It has "more" than the above average house - 8 columns, entablature, and balustrade. In this composition it's just one element. I mean, your eye finds easily finds the door, but there is plenty more to see. And...
the sheltering gambrel roof, the porch roof and the 2 tiny steps say welcome, come in out of the sun or rain.
Let's go back and look the horizontals and verticals. I don't have the right words; so let's just do a little silent study. I don't understand the visual effect of the chimneys but they seem to doing their job. Are they visually keeping the gables from falling off the ends of the house?
This house is bigger than it looks. This wing is pretty big but it doesn't seem so. It's not just that the landscaping hides the wing. It's as if the wing was added on sometime during the long life of the house. It has a different height, different roof line and different chimney.
I don't now about you, but I can imagine this home adapting and growing to fit several families though several generations. That's what houses are all about.
I salute the owners and architect. They could have taken the square footage, the mass, the materials, and the cash and made an intimidating mansion. Instead, they chose people-scaled charm.
I understand that this was a rancher. 2-storied in the first major renovation. What we are seeing is the second major renovation. Of course this is only the street facing facade.
I hope you see these in the slide show. Make sure to blow it up to full screen. If you are familiar with Flickr, see these in original size (2703 x 1857).
Please pardon my amateur description. I'm studying.
Affordable Housing in Suburbia
14 minutes ago