South Portland Sanctuary

description

Custom designed floating shelves and maple cabinetry compliment the clean white countertops in this full interior renovation project. The core idea was to bring warm, natural materials into a completely reimagined space to increase both the functionality and the aesthetic appeal. The existing space was typical of a 1920’s New England home: compartmentalized program, convoluted circulation, and poor access to natural light. The main challenge was to improve the functionality of the space within the constraints of the existing structure.

The kitchen was expanded and redesigned to allow the user much greater accessibility. We reduced the footprint of the basement stairs to expand the space significantly. Tall elements such as the refrigerator and pull-out pantry were tucked next to the existing stairs as to not undermine the visual connection to the new living room beyond. These connections were made possible by replacing the central load bearing wall with a new LVL beam. The beam creates a subtle threshold between the kitchen/dining spaces and the adjacent living room while other repetitious elements such as the floating shelving tie the spaces together.

insights

Kitchen Design

The existing galley kitchen was dark, narrow, and not particularly well functioning. As we expanded the space, we also took a closer look at the operational layout of the kitchen. Reorganizing the kitchen into different functional zones (food storage, cooking prep, pots and pans, cleaning and waste, dishes and cutlery) resulted in a highly effective design:

Within the functional zones, the redesign maintained the time-tested appliance triangle:

On top of this, it always proves valuable to have designated workspace on the countertop adjacent to appliances:

Making Connections

Rather than opening up the space entirely, we carefully positioned new structural and architectural elements to frame interior and exterior views. These view corridors always give the user visibility of at least two focal points throughout the space, creating a since of stable orientation.

The thresholds between spaces are bridged by means of related formal elements which define the gate into the next space. Vertical elements are most prominent towards the interior of the space, thinning as they move towards the view points to the east. Like the thinning of trees towards the edge of a forest, these elements serve to direct the users' eye towards the exterior view beyond.

Increasing Utility

The only down side to removing walls is the loss of storage and shelving opportunities. As such, we knew that every piece of casework in the house had be to perfectly designed for maximum utility. The blind corner in the kitchen, for example, was custom designed with two separate lazy susans, one large one below for cookware and one drawer size above for spices. This unique "double lazy susan" gives the client an ideal spice rack and cookware storage all within reach of the cooktop.

Builder: Cousins Co

Structural Engineering: L&L Structural

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No items found.

Custom designed floating shelves and maple cabinetry compliment the clean white countertops in this full interior renovation project. The core idea was to bring warm, natural materials into a completely reimagined space to increase both the functionality and the aesthetic appeal. The existing space was typical of a 1920’s New England home: compartmentalized program, convoluted circulation, and poor access to natural light. The main challenge was to improve the functionality of the space within the constraints of the existing structure.

The kitchen was expanded and redesigned to allow the user much greater accessibility. We reduced the footprint of the basement stairs to expand the space significantly. Tall elements such as the refrigerator and pull-out pantry were tucked next to the existing stairs as to not undermine the visual connection to the new living room beyond. These connections were made possible by replacing the central load bearing wall with a new LVL beam. The beam creates a subtle threshold between the kitchen/dining spaces and the adjacent living room while other repetitious elements such as the floating shelving tie the spaces together.

No items found.