Business in the Front, Party in the Back: 5 Traditional Homes that Got Super-Modern Additions

Business in the Front, Party in the Back: 5 Traditional Homes that Got Super-Modern Additions

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Nancy Mitchell
May 19, 2017
(Image credit: Dwell)

When you're adding on to an older home, you have two options: you can match the architecture of the addition to the existing house, or, if you're feeling bold, you can embrace contrast and create an addition in a super-contemporary style, bringing your home into the modern era in a very dramatic fashion. That's what these five homeowners decided to do, with particularly arresting results.

(Image credit: Dwell)
(Image credit: Dwell)
(Image credit: Dwell)

This townhouse, in New York's Soho neighborhood, dates all the way back to 1823. In a recent renovation, the home got a two-story modern addition, and the backyard was excavated to create a subterranean level below. The new addition plays on the proportions of the original house, re-creating them in a streamlined, modern style. See the full tour at Dwell.

(Image credit: Dwell)
(Image credit: Dwell)
(Image credit: Dwell)

From the outside, this Australian house looks like a humble bungalow, but on the inside, it's anything but. Taking advantage of the home's steeply sloping site, a dramatic three-story addition doubles the home's living space, while its glass wall allows natural light to filter deep into the house's interior. See the full tour at Dwell.

(Image credit: Dwell)
(Image credit: Dwell)

The architects responsible for the renovation of this Tudor-style home in Rye, New York, gave the house a modern entryway, which is clad in charcoal-stained cedar, the same material that covers the dramatic addition at the rear of the home. Although the style of the addition is quite a contrast to that of the original structure, the consistent color palette of black and white ties it all together. See the full tour at Dwell.

(Image credit: Dwell)
(Image credit: Dwell)
(Image credit: Dwell)
(Image credit: Dwell)

From the front, this is a sweet, modest Victorian cottage, but in the back there's a surprise: a two-story steel-and-glass addition, built in a very modern style. But although the aesthetics of the addition is very different, its shape mimics that of the original house, giving the two forms a certain kinship. Light floods the residence from walls of windows in the back. See the full tour at Dwell.

(Image credit: Dwell)
(Image credit: Dwell)
(Image credit: Dwell)

This house in Germany actually already came with an addition. Appended to the original 1907 villa was an awkward modern box that once served as a mini-mart. Rather than trying to hide the difference between the two structures, the architect chose to make it a design feature, painting the original house black and covering the newer structure in a light wood cladding that takes it from sore thumb to intriguing architectural feature. See the full tour at Dwell.

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