Savory Stanford Renewal - Page 2

Roger Lee home on campus retains original aesthetic, grows to meet new owner needs
Fridays on the Homefront
The Stanford Roger Lee home back in the early 1960s.

Once educated about Lee, he said, "There were a lot of challenges to solve with the house…I think the first question was how to expand the space of the house without losing the original idea of the architecture."

Not that the university was going to allow them to do otherwise, for as Klopf recalls, "The Stanford historical planner reviewed all the designs and made comments."

"What they were concerned with was keeping the aesthetic, especially from the street side," said the architect. Although the university insisted on one different window than proposed, he said, "The Stanford planning process went as well as can be expected."

It certainly seems so, because the renovation kept most of the floor plan but pushed walls out, ultimately adding a little more than 1,100 square feet to the house and another 240 by enclosing the carport and thus creating a garage.

"If you looked at the house, you wouldn't say, 'That was added,'" Klopf says of the new footprint.

While on the one hand, care was taken to restore a piece of stained glass by mid-century artist Donald Drury, the redwood-clad walls would still need to be replaced in the renovation.

  Fridays on the Homefront
Fridays on the Homefront
Two shots of the kitchen: before (top), after (above).

"There is not a single wall still standing that was from the original," Gentzkow admitted of the project. Nonetheless, from his and Aude's perspective of needing a larger, more open living space, "The idea of the original house was so good…we weren't fighting against the house [to expand it]."

Gentzkow has nothing but praise for the job done by Klopf's office, contractor Brendan O'Reilly of ORB Construction, and the rest of the project team, Sezen and Moon structural engineers and Outer Space landscapers.

He admits, though, there did come a nervous concern about a steel beam used to cantilever a bedroom. "The design was pretty far along. and the structural engineer sort of said, 'You know, I wonder if you're going to feel some sort of bounce,' which didn't sound great," Gentzkow laughed, knowing now that no such bounce in the flooring is present.

That fear behind them, the couple has great appreciation that, despite operating on a budget, they now have the house they wanted and needed.

  Fridays on the Homefront
Today, leading to the home's second level.

"All these people [working with other home improvement teams] talk about renovations and horror stories and being swindled, but here, it was just a great process from beginning to end," sighs Gentzkow of the project now completed—just the happy ending their California modern move needed.

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