‘Some of the most interesting conversations occur when there are opposing points of view,’ writes architect Gil Schafer III in the foreword to the book
The New Old House.
In the built environment this exchange of ideas comes from different styles of architecture. As Schafer adds, some of the most exciting buildings – private and public, big and small – combine different genres, eras and materials.
The New Old House’s editor Marc Kristal has scoured Europe and North America to bring us the best examples of houses that contrast old bones with new additions, and do so with (as Schafer puts it) ‘intelligence and civility’.
We’ve picked 10 of our favourites.
Ten Broeck Cottage in Livingston, New York by architects Brian Messana and Toby O’Rorke
According to architect Toby O’Rorke, this historic Dutch ‘H-Bent’ frame home was built by one of the town’s original settler families.
He and Messana have extended the property with a volume whose form is derived from a trailer. This new addition has been clad in Corten steel that will weather to a similar colour as the surrounding landscape.
Photography: Elizabeth Felicella/Esto
Astley Castle in Nuneaton, England by Witherford Watson Mann Architects
Dating back to the 13th century, Astley Castle has been home to three queens of England – Elizabeth Woodville, Elizabeth of York, and Lady Jane Grey. It was left a ruin by fire in 1978, and was turned over to the Landmark Trust who
enlisted Witherford Watson Mann Architects to revive the ailing structure.
Photography: Philip Vile
Ike House in San Diego by John Ike
Architect John Ike was charmed by the irregularities of his 1940s San Diego home, which he speculates was built by a lieutenant commander in the navy, rather than an architect. With nary a straight line in sight, Ike has retained the
mid-century dwelling’s eclecticness, adding cork flooring and windows that draw light further into the house.
Photography: Darren Bradley
Morgan Loft in Birmingham, Alabama by Cheryl Morgan
Architect Cheryl Morgan’s loft apartment was originally a brick
warehouse built in 1910. She’s retained much of its industrial rawness, leaving floorboards unsanded, and walls and beams as she found them. Her major intervention was to turn an existing mezzanine into a bedroom, creating an office, guest space and pantry beneath it in a space she’s dubbed ‘The Box’.
Photography: Jean Allsopp
Hunsett Mill in Stalham, England by ACME
ACME added this charred cedar ‘shadow’ extension behind an 18th-century mill cottage. Inside the new open-plan addition there’s lots of wood, double-height spaces and glazing that make it feel huge –
a contrast to the original brick dwelling.
Photography: Cristobal Palma/Estudio Palma
Collage House in London, England by Jonathan Tuckey Design
Collage House started life as a 19th-century steel fabricator’s workshop before
Jonathan Tuckey turned it into his irregularly-shaped but light-filled home. Nearly windowless, he opened up existing skylights, added new ones and created an enfilade layout with volumes opening up in sequence. Its previous life can be read in its marked brickwork.
Photography: Dirk Lindner
Longbranch in Key Peninsula, Washington by Olson Kundig Architects
This lake house belongs to Jim Olson, principal of
Olson Kundig Architects. It’s been in his family for over six decades, and has been extended three times, most recently in 2012. He began the project in his teens when he built a new bunkhouse, and later, several ‘pavilions’. Now in his 70s, he’s still tinkering with it.
Photography: Kevin Scott
Cob Corner in Ermington, England by David Sheppard Architects
Cob Corner is a combination of simple agricultural buildings. The linhay
barn dates from around 1700, flanked by a lean-to and 20th century tractor shed. Today the main structure has been transformed into living accommodation, while the tractor shed has been replaced by a contemporary studio for Sheppard’s practice.
Photography: Joakim Boren
Casa Delphin in San Juan, Puerto Rico by Fuster + Architects
Architect Nataniel Fúster transformed a typical 1940s Puerto Rican home into a contemporary dwelling, using its original interior elements to inspire his additions. Rhomboid floor tiling found in the house has been translated into concrete screens: two act as vertical ‘skylights’, while the third horizontal screen
covers the pool and semi-enclosed living room.
Photography: Raimund Koch
White House on the Isle of Coll, Scotland by William Tunnell Architects
White House was built in the mid-1700s for the island’s ‘tack man’ – he collected rents from tenant farmers for the local laird – before being used as a tweed mill and later abandoned completely. Today
part of the ruined house forms an open courtyard for the new dwelling, while the other part has been restored with a contemporary addition.
Photography: Michael Harding
The New Old House is out now via Abrams
The New Old House: Historic and Modern Architecture Combined by Marc Kristal is out now via Abrams
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