3101 Michigan Blvd. Racine, WI.
After occupying the original home for seventeen years, the owners of
this house overlooking the Wisconsin shore of Lake Michigan began
building a substantial addition in April 2000. The project involved
enlarging existing rooms and creating new spaces required by the
owners for their entertaining and family needs.
alterations included extending the existing kitchen, living and dining
rooms eastward toward the lake; adding a family room to the North
(adjacent to the expanded kitchen) and a conservatory to the South.
These rooms are situated at 45 degree angles to the N-S orientation of
the house. This configuration creates a richer experience of the views
of the lake: the more formal living and dining rooms maintain direct
views of the water while the casual and private rooms are situated
more obliquely and yield more romantic, picturesque views of the
shoreline, gardens and lighthouse beyond.
Other new features include the expansion of the existing master suite,
one of the second floor bedrooms and the existing home office. The
office has a new private stair leading to a separate smoking room,
wine cellar and exercise room. Another new stair, designed within a
tower, connects the family and kitchen areas to the master suite.
important aspect of the project was replacing the original,
unimpressive exterior with one that evoked feelings of elegance and
stateliness: the original low roof was replaced with a series of
steeply sloping hip roofs; a row of gracefully spaced columns at the
front entry were introduced; custom designed wrought iron railings at
the new bedroom decks and Juliet balconies were added. Finally,
decorative brick detailing was crafted into the new Eastern wall and
on the exterior of the new family room and conservatory.
even application of traditional building elements, careful
proportioning, and modulated massing provide this home with a sense of
repose and gracious comfort that is difficult to achieve with large
houses. By integrating the original proportions and features, the new
house is comfortably embraced by the old, thus lending the project a
rare quality of continuity: the new and the old mesh to make the
completed home appear as though it has always been there.