New Jersey lake house

This 1930s house with steel casement windows and stone walls is sited on a hill overlooking a lake in New Jersey, United States. It has served as a weekend retreat for an antiques dealer specialising in 17th- and 18th-century English furniture and an art conservator of modern and contemporary artworks. While very fond of this home and its original details (including the mint-green 1930s-bathroom tile), when a hurricane deposited a tree into its roof causing significant damage, they embraced the opportunity to renovate.
While working with the owners and their insurers to negotiate fair compensation to repair the house, ACHA worked to improve the foundation to redirect storm waters and reinforce the structure against extreme wind loads.
ACHA then designed two additions – An attic to provide a 10-foot ceiling to take advantage of the views and summer breezes, creating a sitting room and library with a wall of glass overlooking the water. The lake-facing wall is glazed with steel casement windows with French doors opening onto a balcony.
At the front of the house, there was a poorly constructed, front porch, which was gutted, and structural work was done to remedy the “sinking Tiki Hut effect.” A stone floor was laid, and the walls were replaced with floor-to-ceiling steel casement windows to enclose the three open sides allowing eastern light to pour through the trees. The room now serves as a private study where the art conservator sequesters herself to write conservation reports.
One major hurdle was making sure the new stonework would seamlessly blend into the original multicolored granite. The mason identified the original quarry, then paid careful attention to “replicating the way the stones are laid and the size of the mortar.” To match the home’s original steel casement windows, the team used a combination of reclaimed steel and new steel sourced from Switzerland.
On the exterior, working with Eleni Savvidou, ACHA implemented a new lighting scheme using concealed lighting at the roof eaves and beneath the surrounding trees to illuminate the rear lake-facing terrace.

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