By Maggie Maiers, AIA
In May 2013 I was invited to meet with the owners of an older house in the west end of Alameda. We met in the kitchen, which was the area of concern for the owners. The solution that revealed itself during the design phase was a delight and surprise to us all.
The original part of their house was built in 1880 and many additions had been tacked on since, including an ill-conceived kitchen placed unceremoniously on the front corner of the house, squarely in the side yard setback. It became increasingly clear that any efforts put into creating a more usable kitchen out of this space for the family of four would be a waste of resources. Instead we decided to remove the kitchen addition completely and add a kitchen in the crook of the L-shaped floor plan. The new kitchen location was perfect. It was now accessible from the house’s best feature, the great room, and enabled direct access to the side and rear yards, was large enough for a full dining room table and afforded views to the open space to the side of the house. Removing the previous kitchen addition was a surprise in that the original simple-but-elegant front elevation was revealed highlighting a balance of roof lines, windows and front door. Additional work included an all new roof, new windows, new shingled siding, paint and the removal of one blue oak. The owners are committed to their house and are happy it will now meet the needs of the twenty first Century while retaining the charm of the ninteenth.
The team consisted of the following:
Maggie Maiers, AIA of Maggie Maiers Architect AIA
Joseph Xu, P.E of XU Engineering
Gabel Associates, LCC, Energy Consultants
Mark Schmidt, General Contractor of Paul Schmidt Contractor