This project began with a modest scope of work and decisions about initial design ideas, that were mostly cost-driven. Quantity and quality of new addition and remodel areas were mainly tailored for a fixed budget amount, however as soon as permit drawings were finished and a building permit was obtained the quality and even quantity of works were reevaluated by the owner and scope of work adjusted via change orders.

The owners started the project with a fixed 200 sq. ft. master bedroom addition on the lower floor, because their two kids were grown up and the shared bedroom was too small for their activities and too exposed for their privacies. The parents decided to give their master bedroom to one of the kids and build a new and larger master bedroom, master bath, and master closet on the lower floor remote from the kid’s private spaces. The other initial changes to the existing layout were moderate, remodel the kitchen and remove the wall between the kitchen and living room to create more transparency and better flow in the living area. However, later we decided to reevaluate the efficiency of existing floor areas in the basement and redesign its layout for the optimum living qualities and efficiency. Areas of the existing hallway, office space and laundry were completely redesigned, large, yet inefficient, office space was subdivided into smaller and efficient spaces with a sliding French door opening from new office space to an outdoor patio.

We converted the crawl space under the existing stair into a storage/closet for the new office. The laundry area moved to a closed space with a washer and dryer on one side and cabinet/sink on the other side with direct access to the side yard. The bulky unused and unplanned existing area on the lower floor plus the remaining leftover area from the old office room were combined and redesigned for the creation of a new hallway, a master bath, and master closet for the new master bedroom addition on the lower floor.

The new master bedroom sat at the rear end-wall of the existing lower floor, and newly redesigned areas such as the new hallway, master bath, and master closet were well tied into the new master bedroom addition via a corridor entry.

The roof of the new addition at the lower floor designed as the roof deck for the living room above, where a 12 feet glass-folding door opens the living room to the roof deck, creating a perfect indoor-outdoor experience which was significantly missing in the original house.

The design of the new roof deck and the wide glass door to the living room lead to the idea of creating a dining space with transparent enclosed walls and 270 degree views. This would create a space where windows and glass doors would encapsulate the beautiful ever-changing surrounding views into their frame. Though lessened the floor area of the roof deck, this new space which we called sunroom was the missing link that unified the function of the living room, kitchen, and dining area as an integrated whole.


The main characteristic of this project was the active participation of owners in design and construction processes which encouraged us to propose creative and radical ideas that drastically altered the original character of the house from a modest utilitarian building to an active and coherent composition of living spaces.

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