Sometimes, there is a swan hidden inside an ugly duckling. This Barrington house, built in the 1970s, had a low ranch roof and googly-eyed bay windows protruding asymmetrically. The new owners loved the magnificent, sweeping views the site enjoyed of Narragansett Bay to the South, but they wanted a master suite that was bigger than 10’ x 10’ and which didn’t share a bathroom with 2 smaller bedrooms. By adding only 200sf to the building footprint and adding a third floor, A4 Architecture was able to make the building much grander and more symmetrical. The house went from a 1970s ranch to a 1920s-inspired, craftsman style, cedar shingle cottage. After completely stripping the building down to the studs to do a complete overhaul of all the systems and insulation, the house is now nearing completion. By preserving 90% of the original house, A4 Architecture was able to save the owner substantially on construction cost and minimize demolition and environmental waste of the project – a welcome fact this Earth Day.

Soon the building will be occupied, bustling with new inhabitants but in a far more comfortable, energy efficient house that better fits its traditional New England neighborhood. On Earth Day, it is nice to know that through carefully considered design it is possible to do good and create beauty at the same time.

Click below to see a renovation time lapse:


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