Crow's Nest
Carlisle, MA

Project scope

Addition and complete gut renovation of existing structure

Our charge

The existing structure is an early Acorn modular home perched with no regard to sun orientation or views on a bit of level land carved out of an otherwise hilly lot. This model of Acorn house is called “Crow’s Nest” because of a small room created in a dormer next to the stair landing at the second floor. The property is large so there was no issue with room to expand but the topography made any move outward a challenge.

The original house had no garage. Cars passed down a long driveway that ended 12 feet lower than the foundation level. The owners and visitors had to climb an exterior set of stairs to enter through a basement-level door on the downhill side and circulate up through the house from there. One of the goals of the project is to make the expanded home completely accessible.

Our first move was to identify a way to create vehicle access further up the slope. We created a new driveway that slides up the contours at a shallow slope and terminates at a new plateau level with the existing basement. Here we designed a three-bay garage and an at-grade side entrance, both of which access a mudroom. From here one can move up an open stair to the main entry or navigate barrier-free through finished basement space to an elevator that serves two levels above. The garage wing extends the downhill direction and its foundation creates an additional garage and shop space below, accessed from the old driveway. At the basement and main levels, we expanded and opened up the old structure to the south and west. The large eat-in kitchen, which is all new space, has exposure and views on three sides. The dining room and guest suite are in expanded space and open on to a southside terrace. At the second floor we expanded to the southwest to create a larger master suite and enlarged the Crows Nest to be a more functional home office.