The waterfront site of an existing 1970’s kit house overlooks layers of wetlands to an estuary, the bay, and the ocean. The client set the parameters of keeping the existing structure while doubling the size of the house with an addition. The existing structure consists of glulam post and beam construction connected with steel plates. One solution could be to mimic the existing architectural language of the post and beam skeletal structure in the addition. Since the existing house clearly expressed the structural system, the addition should also express this. The architect chose to clearly identify the existing system of the house and create a dialogue with a contrasting panelized system in the addition. The new system utilizes prefabricated elements that resolve multiple structural and spatial problems. Examining the strategy of a kit of parts, current material fabrication technologies are utilized to expand on this idea. A different approach to sustainability is explored, minimizing waste by simplifying to the essential components in order to resolve multiple problems, thus eliminating typical construction waste. Using a standard as a precedent and developing a new structural system paired with the latest technologies, a material can accomplish multiple tasks and heighten the experience of inhabiting the space.
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