Monday, November 17, 2008

209 Lewis Street

Here is another example of a house that has contemporary characteristics but is still harmonious with its context. The contemporary elements are the color of the trim, the direction of the cedar siding on the front gable, the awning windows spanning across the front of the first story of that gable and the vines between them, and the cupola vent on the roof of that gable with the canine weathervane.

The dominant trim color in the village is white. There are plenty of variations though and this is one of them (sorry, not so visible in this photo). A spring green, not to acidic, not sage, and not dark. It works nicely on this house because the rest of it is cedar that has weathered to a beautiful warm grey color and the two colors coordinate very well.

The simple turning of the cedar siding in a vertical direction on the front of the house is the most contemporary detail of all here. A bold but sensitive decision. Vertical siding is not often done well but here it looks great. If the owner's had elected to continue the cedar shingles onto this front wing the result would have been predictable and boring.

The awning windows across the front allow light into the house but also let us know that this elevation and the spaces behind these windows are secondary. The way the vines have been sculpted into rectangular shapes rather than allowed to grow freely and organically also contributes to the contemporary character and they act kind of like a beard on the facade. The litte cupola roof vent with the personalized weather vane on top (sorry, not so visible in the photo) is a common element throughout the village, but here again is done with a little more success. It's not whimsical, an adjective I have come to detest since 70 Moses Lane was built, but entertaining somehow; each time I notice the dog I have a slight chuckle. Something would be lost if it were to disappear, whereas most others actually appear to have been plopped there after a frivolous trip to Home Depot.

This house has been built/renovated for awhile now......I don't even know when it was constructed. But each time I pass by, I notice it, and for good design reasons, not bad. And just like 141 Harvest Lane, the contemporary character seems to allow the owners to express some of their personality via the exterior aesthetic of their house. But instead of feeling confronted and insulted, one comes away thinking, "Huh. That's clever!"

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