From Adolescence to Sophistication in Ann Arbor: A Whole House Remodel

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"From adolescence to sophistication" was the goal expressed by Architectural Resource’s Ann Arbor client at the beginning of a master-planned, multi-phased whole house remodeling and addition project. Originally designed many years ago by the self-proclaimed 'recovering architect' homeowner, the home was in need of updating and attention. The project included a completely remodeled first floor, including a new bedroom wing and 'Tree House' sanctuary overlooking a beautiful setting with ponds and natural landscaping.

"From adolescence to sophistication" was the goal expressed by Architectural Resource’s Ann Arbor client at the beginning of a master-planned, multi-phased whole house remodeling and addition project. Originally designed many years ago by the self-proclaimed 'recovering architect' homeowner, the home was in need of updating and attention. The project included a completely remodeled first floor, including a new bedroom wing and 'Tree House' sanctuary overlooking a beautiful setting with ponds and natural landscaping. For additional information on the project, visit http://www.arcrestour.com.

This home is the fourth of 10 stellar projects featured on this year's NARI Tour of Remodeled Homes, an annual event showcasing the best in residential remodeling design and construction. For additional information and to download the tour brochure and annual NARI membership directory, visit http://www.narisemich.org.

Project Background

The home’s original 1980s design was steeped in "post modern" architectural folly. In the client’s own words, the home needed to grow and mature “from adolescence to sophistication” to match the homeowner’s style and attitude. A careful, sensitive design approach and the art of understatement and restraint were utilized to make subtle but significant changes to the existing home, including two modest additions carefully scaled to complement the main home.

To the north a new main floor and fully accessible Master Suite Pavilion wing with a Home Office "Link" connector was added. The Master Suite Pavilion was designed with "long life-loose fit" strategies in mind, recognizing that the homeowner’s needs will change over time.

The main house family gathering space received an authentic Rumford-style, full masonry fireplace as a stunning focal point, along with new ridge beam and skylights to open up the space visually. The new functional and elegant “floating” slab stairway to the west of the family gathering space was exquisitely crafted from sustainably harvested Brazilian Cherry.

Although the kitchen maintained its essential layout, it was completely redesigned in a subtle yet effective manner. Major changes included a custom cast concrete topped island and a redesign of the "post modern" inspired window array to open the views of the meadow and ponds to the south. The new elevated "Tree House" sanctuary to the south of the home was an exciting introduction, as it allowed for elevated viewing and a connection to nature with the meadow, gardens and ponds below.

About the Architect: Architectural Resource

Architectural Resource is a nationally recognized, award-winning architectural design firm specializing exclusively in residential design. Architectural Resource is Michigan's leading green residential remodeling design firm responsible for Michigan’s first three USGBC LEED Platinum remodels. Experts in Not So Big® inspired design, Architectural Resource is featured in Sarah Susanka's most recent book “Not So Big Remodeling.”

About the Builder: David G. Arnold Construction

DGA Construction has 39 years of building and remodeling experience in the greater Ann Arbor area with an emphasis on quality craftsmanship of new homes, small to large remodeling projects, cottages, renovations and restorations. DGA Construction’s close attention to detail ensures the new healthy, energy efficient space meets every need of the client.

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Michael Klement, AIA
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