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Stepping Up

The typical scenario: a tiny cape with a growing family. Design Dynamics added a new kitchen, family room and entry to the first floor opening up the space to better serve the clients’ way of living, in addition to a master bedroom to the second floor, all while not out-scaling what appears to be a single story cape from the street.

We began by removing the old prototypical entry from the home, and rebuilt a new one. This new entry oriented towards the walkway and yard, expanded storage space and simultaneously opened the typically cramped space of a cape house where the entry, stairs, living and dining spaces come together. On the first floor, we pushed the wall out into the backyard a few feet to give the existing kitchen space, more depth and light. We added a new living space and rear entry that allowed these areas to melt together with the kitchen and dining areas. On the second floor, adding the master bedroom above the new family room was easy. Making a large two story structure coexist with the existing smaller structure was more complicated. By raising half the existing roof, we created a stepping effect from old to new. This blended perfectly with the site and the street below which slopes upward from left to right just as the new three-tiered roof now does. The curvature of the street further shapes the new house. With the street cutting into the property, the new portions of the house had to turn as well. Overall, the structure is influenced and shaped by the street and surrounding landscape.