When you have a single-story home and you need to expand it, the ideal is expanding as organically as possible — building out from the back of a home, for example, into a yard area. The Haines house, as expanded by Christopher Polly, is an example of just that: in effect, as the architect puts if, “grafting a singular substantial volume to an existing single-story semi-detached dwelling.” What did the new addition and the original semi-detached house share? The common meeting point was a bathroom; keeping that existing bathroom enabled the old and new to merge and expand into an open-plan addition with a new living room, dining room, kitchen, and additional living space. Some creative use of hallways, passageways, and steps — especially slight elevations between old and new — also enabled the new construction to work within the confines of the other “half” of the semi-detached twosome.
Now, the new part of the house soars above a simple one-story: steel plate supports and a row of louvered windows help to bridge the higher and lower roof lines as well as allowing for more light and air circulation. The streamlined kitchen seamlessly connects with the “new” living room — as much an outdoor room as an indoor one, in pleasant weather — and dining area. Flexible use of space means that one room can be used as a study or guest room, depending on need. Recessed lighting and modern semi-circular hanging fixtures provide focused light for working or reading; a newly refurbished courtyard and private garden, complete with mature trees and brick paths, extend the house’s entertaining space, easily closed off for privacy with pocket sliding doors. The Haines expansion has opened up the space to new uses, new style…and future possibilities.