Architectural Solutions: The First Ave Renovation

For last week’s Design Review, we visited the First Ave project located in the Avenues neighborhood, a local historic district in the heart of Salt Lake City.

While the exterior work was completed some time ago, the owners recently completed the interior work. Here are a few thoughts from everyone in the office after visiting the home:

1. Architects create solutions.  After initially visiting the site a few years ago (see here for the before photo and the story of the project), Aaron and Warren came up with the idea to carve out the center of the house to let light and conversation pass between the two levels.

2. Small additions such as a dormer, a skylight, a light well, and a little insulation can create big changes. These particular additions made a cold, dark uninhabitable space into a hidden gem and cozy bonus room.

3. The project illustrates how it is possible to live both responsibly and comfortably.  The owner utilized a small existing building footprint, created minimal square footage and did not require a large garage. Reducing square footage is the basis of a sustainable house.

4. We enjoyed seeing how the clients put their own touches into the design by using creative finishes and modifying furniture to fit their needs and budget.

5. The existing housing stock of our historic neighborhoods is a key to the vitality and sustainability of our cities.  Capturing even modest spaces in existing houses extends the livability of the home.