Residential Rehaul: Renovation & Addition by dwellbeing
Architect: Sara Aschliman of dwellbeing
Client: young professionals
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Sara Aschliman, a young architect and owner/partner in a 2-person residential design firm dwellbeing. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio this renovation/addition project of Sara’s own home won a 2009 American Institute of Architects (AIA), Congress of Residential Architecture (CORA) Award. Check it out:
This addition/renovation project was at the time my own personal home, and was done as a design/build. I acted as architect and general contractor and as the project was under major budget constraints, my family and I also performed much of the labor, including all finishes.
It began as ugly and dangerous, boasting mold, pests, and a steep hillside literally crashing down onto it. Yet the potential was clear: urban living in a private wooded setting, breathtaking city views, and room to grow…upward. Balancing sustainability, economy, and aesthetic, 160 Goethe preserves the charm of the old building but affords the amenities of new construction:
• Leveraging its original foundation, and accentuating the brick walls and roof rafters, the intent was to repair and celebrate the existing.
• Open floor plan and vertical addition, including roof terrace, maximizes livable space while keeping to a small 1,000 square feet footprint.
• Renovation enabled the integration of energy economizing features such has high-efficiency HVAC, glazing, and insulation.
• Low ceilings were removed to allow for larger windows providing more natural light.
• New foundation hand-dug to minimize excavation and tread of machinery on the vegetated site.
• Exterior designed to bring the nonconforming facade back in character with the surrounding historic streetscape.
This design/build project became a real life testing ground that inspired further neighborhood development. Material choice and sweat equity combined with smart detailing enabled the results to embody these young architects’ focus: beautiful yet affordable, efficient design.
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