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blogpost – about a house

Got to look at a house project today – we don’t get a lot of calls like this – we’re excited. Email below is edited for content.

Andy Osterlund AIA | LEED AP
Andrew Osterlund, Architect, PLLC
(919) 889 6823 |

I’m eating lunch at [—] park, watching cardinals and chipmunks and looking at flowers with name tags on them. Coming out of the neighborhood [with the house], a left turn went to [a hip shopping center], and a right turn came here.

I rang the door on the house, and no one answered, so i walked around the back. [Someone I knew from a restaurant project] we’re doing was in the back yard on his personal backhoe, working in the garden.

The house has been on the market since [personal event], [–] months ago. Stories beget other stories, [and personal story about why our friend was working in the backyard.]

The location and access are extraordinary. Several houses had been recently renovated immediately around it. Neighborhood was very quiet. The lot is not large, but has a lot of topo and good opportunity for landscaping.

The backyard grades slope toward the house. My friend recently dug a trench around the house, trying to control water flow.

The roof is actually flat, and has plants growing out of it. An exterior stair goes to the roof deck.

The photos show a styrofoam model my friend did to test his design ideas for the house!

First step in the back door shows a hole in the floor, to the earth. The back rooms are completely removed to stud. There is a brick chimney in good condition.

The hole in the floor was full of wood joists and rigid insulation that was intended for the new rood construction (see styrofoam model photos.)

The house has three comfortable small bedrooms and a bath in good condition. The kitchen is central to the original plan, but is small and incomplete. The bedroom wing was the one part of the house that felt right. It has good light and careful use of space. There is an unfinished laundry and utility room in the wrong place.

Realtor is [deleted]. He says it needs [a lot] of repairs. That may be possible, but, the house would be better rebuilt and reconfigured. Realtor said he knew the name of the architect, a NC State professor. It’s astounding to me how consistent the "NC State Professor Style" is.

The street presence is careful and good. The yard could be beautiful. The bedroom wing is creative and livable, if compact. The living space is intended to be open, but is currently is bad disrepair and is usable. My friend even agreed that wing should be reconstructed, and I would go farther. The living and core could be built well to be a connected two story space with excellent views, presence, and outdoor spaces.

Hope that helps! Thanks for the fun morning. Sorry if this feedback is more than you asked for. It’s helpful to me to think through what these homes are and what they mean, and how to interact with them, and its a lot of fun to think about you-all.

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Osterlund Architects is a full-service architecture and interior design firm, committed to our clients and their work from concept through construction, and through to their next opportunity. Our firm has expertise in all project phases, including programming, pre-design and planning through construction administration and closeout, as well as interior design, including furniture, fixtures and equipment (FFE) services.

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