Architects are frequently asked to plan an addition to a house, but not many are often asked to create an addition joining two separate structures. In this case, a church almost as old as this century needed to be joined to a companion structure, a solar, earth-sheltered studio built in the 1970s. The two were to become a single residence, and needed a flow-through between them.
Enter John Elicker Architects of Columbia. Mr. Elicker's idea was "to reinterpret in a modern sense the feeling of an English conservatory that could be added perpendicular to the existing structures." He says the solution was "to create a simple form with smooth white surfaces inside and out, relating to the three-dimensional geometry of both buildings."
Energy conservation was a main consideration of both the clients and the architects. A special insulation/foundation system called All-Weather Wood Foundation helps keep the crawl space beneath the floor at a constant temperature, while the roof areas contain extra-rigid insulation. Large expanses of double-glazed, high-performance glass make the space bright and airy.
The newly completed family room provides a graceful transition between two very different architectural styles.