322 Reinvented / Substance Architecture

© Paul Crosby

Architects: Substance Architecture
Location: ,
Project Area: 4,200 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Paul Crosby

This Iowa City residence, built in 1941 and subsequently expanded several times over the intervening decades, was a complex mass housing a warren of rooms with no overall sense of organization. The home had one compelling feature – a large site in an established neighborhood surrounded by mature trees. The desire to liberate and organize the interior spaces and connect them to this landscape was a central theme which guided the homes renovation.


The designers employed a series of transformational tactics to simplify and expand the home. The gable form was expanded vertically (by increasing the roof slope) and extruded to the north to increase the homes volume within the existing foundation. The existing windows were replaced and their rhythm extended to order the home’s fenestration. The result is a simple, almost archetypal, “house shape”. This gabled volume was then expanded with a series of porches providing a transitional space between inside and outside, as well as solar protection for new enlarged glass openings. These porches, in turn, frame exterior spaces around the home.

original building
© Paul Crosby

The interior is similarly direct. The first level of the home becomes a single, white, open volume with a dark mass of service spaces placed off-center. This mass subtly defines the first level living spaces. The second level houses the bedrooms while the attic becomes a playroom space, flanked by additional bedrooms.

© Paul Crosby

Throughout, efforts we made to create a cohesive whole with a sense of openness out of the cellular rooms of the existing home.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "322 Reinvented / Substance Architecture" 24 Jul 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=70052>