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How old is this house?

It takes finesse to slip a new house into an existing neighborbood and make it look as if it's always been there. This beach house in Santa Cruz, California, achieves that integration. It does so rather remarkably, considering that it sits on a tight 35- by 80-foot lot that touches streets at front and back and has neighbors within a few feet of property lines on both sides. For inspiration, Santa Cruz architect Ed Glatfelter-Jones of Britten and Franks looked at older neighboring houses. These are typically wood-framed seasonal prewar cottages; some have only single-wall construction. Incorporating design elements from the existing houses-the materials, colors, multiple gables, and, most important, scale he came up with a composite design that blends easily into the older neighborhood. To produce the desired look, the exterior plywood was overlaid with 1 -by-2s, creating the appearance of board-and-batten siding. Red composition roofing and putty-colored stucco walls complete the look. The period effect is so successful that visitors are often surprised to learn that the house is not a remodel. it took some shoehorning to fit the design within the 2,800-square-foot substandard-size lot. The 1,600-square-foot house pushes up to the 10 foot setback in front, to both 6 1/2 foot side setbacks. and close to the 13-loot limit in back. This leaves only enough room for small fenced gardens in the front and back and for minimal side gardens. The roof line does a lot to help the house blend in with its surroundings, and to prevent it from crowding or overwhelming its neighbors. First, it starts low. Had the walls gone straight up a full two stories before the roof began, the space between the house and a neighboring two-story structure would have become a dark canyon; on the other side, a single-story house would have been dwarfed. Second, the roof line is frequently broken by a variety of hips, gables, and sheds. This makes the overall structure feel smaller, in scale with its beach cottage neighbors. For more light and views, the surprisingly roomy house puts public spaces on the upper story, with private rooms downstairs. Living room, dining room, kitchen, and balf-bath are upstairs; garage, entry hall, three bedrooms, and two baths fill the ground floor. To expand outdoor living space, sun-capturing second-story terraces were cut into roof lines in the front and back of the house. Although the low, sloping ceilings limit headroom somewhat upstairs, placement of built-in seating, storage cabinets, counters, shelves, and stairwell under the slopes makes efficient use of the tight space. The slopes also add elements of sculptural interest to the white-painted ceilings and walls. 1-1
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Sep 1, 1990
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