Description of your space/land/area in question.
The Bell-Spalding House is a timber framed and wood sheathed house likely built in 1854 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places for architectural significance. (though it is not subject to any building or remodeling restrictions since it is located outside of the bounds of Ann Arbor’s “historic” neighborhoods.)
The original farmhouse is Greek Revival, but it is now almost completely surrounded by historic additions, including a prominent two-story Italianate front section. The house is located on 2 acres atop a hill fronting the Washtenaw Avenue Business Loop of Interstate 94 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A local landmark, it is passed by over 20,000 people per day and included in tours of historically significant buildings.
What is the existing condition?
The house was converted from a private residence to the headquarters of the Michigan State Historical Society in the 1960s. It was used as a museum and offices for forty years. Just over ten years ago the society moved out and no tenants have been interested in occupying this unusual building as a domicile for a family. It has now been vacant for several years and has deteriorated.
What is the problem?
This project will begin to reconfigure the house from museum/office use back to residential use, providing modern amenities that will make the property attractive as a residence yet still retaining its historic character. The 2nd floor of the Italianate front section of the house contains a hallway and five rooms but has no closets or bathrooms. This project will reconfigure this section of the house as a suite of bedrooms. The winner of this project may be selected for additional work on future phases of the project.
What do you want to achieve?
A workable floorplan that includes:
* a master suite (master bedroom, master bathroom, walk-in closet)
* a second bathroom accessible from the hall (ideally with a closet for towels)
the second bathroom must include the specified fixtures (pedestal sink, toilet, and clawfoot tub -- measurements attached)
* a second bedroom (with a closet)
* a linen closet (ideally accessible from the hall)
* ideas about additional rooms/space. If additional rooms cannot be modified to include closets they can be used as home offices, but the plan must include at least the two bedrooms and two bathrooms listed above.
Requirements and Considerations:
* It is very important to us that renovations don’t produce a clash between the renovation work and the original parts of the house.
* Exterior windows may not be altered.
* HVAC is provided from an attic unit above this suite and ducts can be easily reconfigured, so HVAC is not a concern for this design.
* The design should seek to minimize changes to the existing walls as much as possible. However, we realize that adding a master suite will likely require removing an interior wall.
* The toilets must be located against the indicated plumbing areas, as other locations may require lowering the ceiling in the 1st floor.
* Existing chimneys are plastered over but one or both could be uncovered to add a mantel and fireplace (decorative or potentially functioning).
What are your expectations/preferences/style etc.
* We will use period-appropriate doors, cabinetry and fixtures obtained from architectural salvage if this is possible
* The ceilings are unusually high for a 2nd floor (9' 2.5"). The high ceilings could produce some wasted space near the ceiling if closets are added and period doors are used. We’re not sure what to do about this, or if it is important.
* The original wide pine wood flooring is in excellent condition and is one of the best features of this space -- we don’t want to cover it up. Any ideas about using this flooring in bathrooms while reducing the chance of water damage (as much as possible) are welcome.
Do you only need ideas/concepts, or do you want to execute project eventually?
* We are currently seeking only a conceptual floorplan.
Would you like to continue working with the winning designer after competition? Does s/he need to be available on site or be otherwise available if necessary?
* The winner of this competition may be included in future work. The designer does not need to be available on site.
The winner will create a pleasant living space that still retains the historic character of this property.
We will prefer designs that capitalize on the unique features of this property in some way -- the unusual windows, the well-preserved wood flooring, the high-ceilings.
The winner must meet the requirements listed above (in "goals").
Our general contractor may assist us in judging this competition but the winner will receive credit for the design.
Only a floor plan is required, however if there are other deliverables that would help us understand your design they are welcome.
Photos of the rooms in this competition are on this flickr photoset:
Only the 2nd floor front is part of this competition. See the notes on the attached floorplan.