Friday, June 5, 2015

At Least You Can’t See it From the Street

It’s no surprise that I’m a traditionalist at heart. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be writing about Tudor-Revival houses, medieval art, victorian architecture or preservation issues. That said, I don’t mind a thoughtful update for an older home or a new interpretation of a traditional design. Most of better results come when the old and the new are blended harmoniously together; that doesn’t mean you can’t tell them apart, only that the combination feels natural rather than forced.

That’s why I have a hard time with this Tudor in Rye, NY – where the owner tacked this very contemporary addition onto the back of a modestly-sized Tudor Revival home. I suppose I’ve seen worse; the color and materials do complement the existing house to some extent, but the end result just doesn’t work for me. It’s like you took two totally different house and jammed them together.

What’s more, it seems the owner doesn’t really like traditional or revival styles anyway—the interior, even in the older part of the house—is ultra-contemporary, with no hint of the original house left behind. All white, steel and glass…it looks like the windows were the only element preserved from the existing home.

I suppose they liked the neighborhood. It’s unfortunate that they just didn’t decide to build an all-new contemporary house, rather than compromising the overall appearance of this one. Perhaps the only good thing I can say here is (as you can see in the second photo) that the addition was placed at the rear of the house, and is not so visible from the street.

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