The path to the bike trail

Access to and privacy from the bike path

Empty Nesters

Bob and Carol wanted to build a small energy-efficient “green” house. They bought a dilapidated Monopoly-block house with a nasty addition. The shell of the main house was in good shape. We dismantled the nasty addition and re-did the interior, re-using and recycling as possible. The final house is 1,700 square feet.

The existing house was not connected to the rear yard, which backs onto a bike path. We moved the kitchen and dining to the basement and connected it to a sheltered courtyard in the rear. Excavated earth was pushed back to create a berm behind a porous retaining wall with no reinforced concrete or block. It is made from a quarry’s unused slate fragments stacked in front of gravel.

They wanted the house to have a cozy contemporary feeling. As requested, the house includes, “memory elements”, that are based on fond family recollections. Like family pictures they are meant to connect the family to this place.


rear of the house

Rear of the house










Entry looking toward the living room. At the left is the overlook to the dining/kitchen floor below

Looking toward the Living Room

Living room looking over the opening to the dining/kitchen below

Looking toward the front door


looking down to the dining/kitchen floor that accesses the rear yard

Looking down to the dining and kitchen area




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