Arguedas House / Seibert Architects, Pennsylvania
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Text description provided by the architects. This unique mid-century modern home from the office of Ralph Twitchell has endured years of alteration and neglect. Doors and windows between inside and outside and doors between rooms, including bathrooms, had been removed. The original carport has been closed off with sliding glass doors and impractical storage space has been added behind the master bedroom.
A patchwork of different flooring materials occurred throughout the house and the floor of the main space was covered in an opaque black stain extending to the adjoining pool deck inside due to the removal of the original sliding glass doors. Some of the original stacked block walls inside and out were covered with other finishes while other areas of the block were still exposed.
Essentially, the house had become a patchwork of incompatible materials and unfinished ideas that were both interesting and misguided. Fortunately, the unique roof structure made of Pickett “V” shaped panels was still present and was in reasonable condition.
The new owners decided not to restore the house to its original condition due to the loss of square footage it would require. Ultimately, the goal of the renovations was to bring out the unique and interesting aspects of the original mid-century design and bring cohesive aesthetics and organization to the home, along with air conditioning, which still does default after many years of modifications. at home.
New windows and exterior doors were installed where they were missing and in replacement of others so that all matched. The pool cage, which is not original to the house, has been replaced with a taller cage that lines up with the walls of the main interior space and clears the edge of the roof. Foreign interior and exterior elements have been removed and a new exterior landscape has been added. The bathrooms have been reconfigured and skylights have been placed above the showers to bring natural light into these small dark rooms.
With a low flat roof structure on either side of the main space and no attic, the home’s air conditioning strategies were an integral part of the solution for the home. Hallway ceilings have been lowered 12 inches along with a few other areas carefully worked into the design to provide pathways for air distribution. Case handling is an integral part of the air distribution strategy with concealed pathways up and behind where required and air return through the toe kick areas in certain places.
The original stacked block walls, which were covered with other materials, were damaged and could not be restored. To achieve a cohesive aesthetic inside and outside the home, wall finishes were replaced or added as needed. The patchwork of dissimilar flooring materials and substrates was covered with a thin layer of all-colored concrete. Interior doors and door jambs were added, and others replaced, to achieve a cohesive interior aesthetic.
Although not true to the original design in every material and detail, the house captures the spirit of the original design, speaks clearly to the period it belongs to, and takes advantage of the elements that made the house unique. single origin.