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Making an entry ... out of next to nothing.

A good entry works hard, inside and out. From the street, it directs the visitor to the front door and projects an architectural image--ideally, a pleasingly hospitable one. At its threshold, it eases the transition from exposed to sheltered space, from a public world to a private one. It offers outsiders a place to doff their coats and enter a welcoming personal domain.

Inside the front door, the entry also communicates a first impression of the interior, affording modulated glimpses of rooms that lie beyond and suggesting how the residents organize their space--and, perhaps, their time.

Unfortunately, this important zone of social and architectural transition is often missing, especially in older developer-built and tract houses. In such cases, creating an entry can be as simple as adding a vestibule, or can be achieved as part of a larger remodeling project. Whether the change is simple or grand in scale, the results can make a dramatic difference in the look and feel of a house--as you see in the three examples shown here.

Each of the solutions pictured addresses a different set of problems. In each case, the new entry gave the exterior a more welcoming appearance by calling out the location of the front door. In two of the examples, the new entries also provide protection from the elements, as residents fish for their keys or guests wait for an answer to their ring.

The interior portion of each entry provides efficient access to the parts of the house a guest is likely to visit. But views from these entries, while hinting at the character of the interior spaces to follow, also buffer the impact of arrivals on those who are already inside.

Raising the roof

clear to the backyard

To make the approach to their house more inviting and reorganize the interior spaces, Roberta Jarmel and Art Estin had some work to do. The front door was buried at the rear of the carport, and it dumped you directly into the living room. This room, like others on the low-ceilinged main floor, was small, dark, and uninspiring.

Raising the roof to form a central spine over the house's main section was the answer. From the street, the new roof's front gable marks the location of the sheltered entry; inside, an echoing gable form sets off the front entry area and continues through the kitchen, at the rear of the house.

Track fixtures as well as skylights in the lifted roof section help the main floor also function as a gallery-like space for displaying the owners' art collection.

Design: Architractor Design Group, Boulder, Colorado.

Using a screen fence

to lead in guests

Bringing order to a chaotic-feeling sequence of entry spaces was a priority for Gertrude and Lester Nunn when they purchased this house. Not only was the front door set far back between the garage and the living room wing, but a dumpy chimney, water and gas meters, the sewer cleanout, and sprinkler control valves were on prominent display en route. Another problem: there was no door directly from the garage into the house.

To remedy the situation, Phoenix architect William P. Bruder designed a handsome new flat-roofed entry with flanking fence-like screens. The screens hide the mess, create a triangular entrance hall, and link the garage to indoors. For added drama and balance, the handsomely overscaled front door opens on a pivot set about a third of the way in from one edge.

Gaining missing and

much-needed privacy

"It was like being in a fishbowl." That's how Michelle and Bob Wells describe the experience of living behind the two glass sliders that separated their living room from the street. Visitors couldn't help but feel slightly intrusive, and residents often were startled to look up and see someone standing right outside.

A 4- by 12-foot under-eave addition by Architractor Design Group covered the massive chimney and replaced one of the sliders with a solid wall, providing much-needed privacy.

From the street, a new gate forms a portal whose peak aligns with the point above the door. Entering the house, you make a turn past the fireplace before emerging into the open living room-kitchen space.

The addition also holds a new half-bath, so guests need not enter the more private part of the house.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:entrance hall remodeling
Date:Aug 1, 1991
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