Umbrella House

The Umbrella House received the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Medal of Honor in 1979. Thirty years later the home was updated to meet the needs of a 21st century family looking for more room, more open space, and a more livable plan.

Within a very tight budget, the goal was to add a master bedroom suite and to improve the general layout of the house with a new kitchen and family room. To be as efficient as possible, any new footprint was kept to a minimum and took advantage of the unused space under the existing corrugated fiberglass “umbrella” roof. The idea was to float a glass box holding the master bedroom suite under the roof to utilize its weatherproofing while still honoring the structure’s original character and integrity.

The second floor addition allowed the main floor to be opened up for increased flexibility and reorganization of the shared family spaces, while reinforcing the axis between the water view to the east and the lawn to the west. The success of the remodel lies in its simplicity and ability to honor the house’s original design.