Business in the Front, Party in the Back: 5 Traditional Homes that Got Super-Modern Additions — Dwell


When you’re adding on to an older home, you have two options: you can match the architecture of the addition to the existing house, or, if you’re feeling bold, you can embrace contrast and create an addition in a super-contemporary style, bringing your home into the modern era in a very dramatic fashion. That’s what these five homeowners decided to do, with particularly arresting results.

This townhouse, in New York’s Soho neighborhood, dates all the way back to 1823. In a recent renovation, the home got a two-story modern addition, and the backyard was excavated to create a subterranean level below. The new addition plays on the proportions of the original house, re-creating them in a streamlined, modern style. See the full tour at Dwell.

From the outside, this Australian house looks like a humble bungalow, but on the inside, it’s anything but. Taking advantage of the home’s steeply sloping site, a dramatic three-story addition doubles the home’s living space, while its glass wall allows natural light to filter deep into the house’s interior. See the full tour at Dwell.

The architects responsible for the renovation of this Tudor-style home in Rye, New York, gave the house a modern entryway, which is clad in charcoal-stained cedar, the same material that covers the dramatic addition at the rear of the home. Although the style of the addition is quite a contrast to that of the original structure, the consistent color palette of black and white ties it all together. See the full tour at Dwell.

From the front, this is a sweet, modest Victorian cottage, but in the back there’s a surprise: a two-story steel-and-glass addition, built in a very modern style. But although the aesthetics of the addition is very different, its shape mimics that of the original house, giving the two forms a certain kinship. Light floods the residence from walls of windows in the back. See the full tour at Dwell.

This house in Germany actually already came with an addition. Appended to the original 1907 villa was an awkward modern box that once served as a mini-mart. Rather than trying to hide the difference between the two structures, the architect chose to make it a design feature, painting the original house black and covering the newer structure in a light wood cladding that takes it from sore thumb to intriguing architectural feature. See the full tour at Dwell.

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