Wong Barrett Residence

Client: Wong Barrett
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Size:  4,500 SF
Year Built: 1964
Original Architect:  Robert Metcalf

Originally designed by Robert Metcalf in 1964 for James Olds, this 4,500 sf private residence was built into a hill with a garage and bedrooms below and living space above.  Aside from a small addition in 1995, the house is a prototypical example of Ann Arbor Midcentury Modern.  Robert Metcalf followed George B. Brigham as the dean of the University of Michigan architecture school from 1974 to 1986 and his influence resonates in homes and buildings across the Midwest. 

Our design goal for this renovation and addition was to celebrate the integrity of Metcalf’s work while adding modern comforts and luxuries such as a larger kitchen, an ensuite primary bedroom, an exercise room, and an indoor swim spa. Original windows and sliding doors were replaced in kind with sleek black frames to add a present-day finish and modern thermal performance. Decorative hardwood soffits and cove lighting were extended throughout the renovation in addition to a unified feel throughout. Extensive demolition and renovation provided the opportunity to improve the energy performance of the house. By atomizing a water-based sealant that adheres to microscopic apertures that are naturally part of the construction, we were able to reduce air leakage by 80%.  The original home tested in at 11.7 air changes per hour (ACH).  Upon project completion, the home tested at 2.37 ACH.

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