As an ode – and perhaps out of respect – to Frank Lloyd Wright’s storied mid-century “prairie style” home – this modern renovation retains the character and formal expression of the existing house while performing on it the modern facelift it deserves. Architecture Open Form lead a team of designers keyed in on preservation and modernization, resulting in a stunning transformation of a historic 60 year old home.
Keeping with the spirit of the “prairie style,” the home exudes the trademark horizontality and delicate treatment of important details. From the entry, the roof holds extremely low to the ground, creating magnetic visual tension that is amplified by its length. There is a subtle gable that is extruded over an exterior deck space on one side, extending the interior volume both visually and functionally. At the rear, however, the natural grade drops off revealing a lower floor that empties right out onto the patio below. This change in topography provided an opportunity to open up double height spaces in the main living areas.
A primary focal point of the interior is the existing stone fireplace that was built with the original house over 60 years ago. It provides visual relief from the otherwise subdued, stark set of wall treatments. The architects were careful not to cast aside what made the house a home in the first place. Elsewhere, spaces flow into one another naturally, and mimic the horizontal force that punctuates the entry facade. Large openings bring in light and view from every vantage, especially in the living room where a towering wall of glass leads out to the rear garden.
There is nothing particularly revolutionary about the Du Tour Residence. It’s a personal love letter – both from the family to their former house, and the architect to a historic style. It’s just as a renovation project should be: equal parts old and new. All things point to this masterful revitalization being here for another 60 years, and perhaps many more.
Architects: Architecture Open Form
Photography: Adrien Williams