About half of the work in our office is new construction and half renovations and additions. When designing a home from scratch some of the most important elements to study(besides the clients wishes) are views, site features, sun and wind direction, and the approach to the site. The most important single element in an addition/renovation is the existing building. Sometimes the portion you save and restore is key to the rest of the project. Although it is almost impossible to perfectly match the 200 year old materials which have aged in place, flooring recycled from salvaged barn beams comes pretty close. In the northeast we are particularly lucky to be working with craftsmen who take their work as seriously as the people who built the original homes.
Not every renovation/addition project has a great existing building to take inspiration from. Often the portion which is added becomes the stronger design element and therefore influences the rest of the existing home. I don’t know if that is the tail wagging the dog, but sometimes perhaps the tail should do the waging at least in home design.
Photos by Rob Karosis Curated Brochure by Crisp Architects: Portfolio