PASSION FOR ZERO Webster Terrace was a distinguished modern movement house built in three stages. It had an open plan living/dining/kitchen with a distinctive sloped ceiling extending into a mono slope cantilevered roof.
The Client wished to open the main floor as much as possible and build a second storey with two bedrooms, each with a bathroom. The main challenges were to 1. add a second storey while keeping the house weather proof 2. give even more presence to the spatial qualities of the large sloped ceiling plane 3. insert new heating, cooling, power, plumbing, communications and entertainment systems 4. improve the energy performance of the envelope and systems 5. use contemporary, high performance materials with zero edge details
TEAL's response to the first challenge was to devise an 'eye of the needle' structural strategy that threaded the new steel structure through minimal openings in the roof, immediately sealing them the same day. The new floor is suspended over the existing sloped roof plane, creating a useful storage space underneath. The new upper deck is also structured to hover over the old roof.
The second challenge was met by removing most of the walls on the main level, exposing the diagonally sloping ceiling plane even more than before and creating a set of wide stairs that serve as a gathering seats for entertainment.
The envelope of the existing house was stripped internally and both the old and new walls were insulated with high-performance spray foam. All windows are new, aluminum-framed with thermal breaks. Zero-edge glass detailing on the corners at both levels reveals stunning southern views of Halifax's North-West Arm ocean inlet. The exterior cladding is a combination of zero-maintenance thermal wood and fiber cement panels with no exposed fasteners on the entire house.
The landscape is zero maintenance river pebbles, allowing maximum permeability for the site.
The house was a daring and contemporary form in its younger days and it has been rejuvenated with expanded spaces with improved access to views, a sleek twenty-first-century form and materials detailed in the most minimal manner.