The owners loved the detailing of this old house, but not its dark interior. The wife, an avid cook, felt especially trapped in a half-underground kitchen. She envisioned a grand culinary stage instead—enclosed in glass like a conservatory—so that’s exactly what we gave her.
A custom English conservatory crowns the new addition, enclosing a kitchen, dining and sitting area that seems to float into the home’s wooded back yard, just above a pool we designed below. To preserve the views, we had to create a layout without wall cabinets or visible appliances. Therefore, we installed refrigerator drawers in the island, while floating shelves hold colorful plates and glasses that do double duty as artful accents.
In deference to the Tudor’s solid bones, we anchored the conservatory with a lower level of brick and limestone that acts as a visual plinth for the sculptural glass enclosure on top. The lower addition contains a wine cellar, media room and full bath. We used the dirt we excavated to build the addition for expanded garden terraces that surround the pool and a detached spa building. The result is a home whose sturdy, classic façade becomes glowingly transparent in the back.