the project

   
   
  • The house, as built, follows closely this design development floor plan that features a kitchen/bath core to divide public from private space. In its final configuration, the deck occupies the entire façade of the building outside the spacious living room. [wli]
  • As significant as the house perched atop a hillside over the creek, the development of the wooded lot ranked among the client’s highest priorities. This site plan by Loddie Bryan (Raleigh) illustrates the various focus areas within the site, both nearby the building and further afield. [wli]
  • This dramatic sketch captures the balance of groundedness and floating apparent at the Spangler Residence. [wli]
  • The front door divides the south façade of the structure, further defined by the valley of the butterfly roof. The form of the building accentuates the notion of floating over the wooded hillside. [pll]
  • A new deck, designed by architect Jim Johnson (California) complements the original structure and provides an outdoor space accessed from the living room. Johnson’s own take on floating employs vertical members that extend above and below the horizontal surface of the deck and linking to the lines within the structure. [pll]
  • Spangler instructed Loewenstein to work around existing trees on site and the architect accommodated the request by designing a notched roof on west face so that a tree could continue its vertical ascension. Nearby, Loewenstein places the black flue for the chimney, echoing this vertical in nature. [pll]
  • On the north side of the structure, living space has been extended from the house’s breakfast room and master bedroom in a seating and dining area intended for seasonal use. The building thus settles into the landscape through the inclusion of this and other indoor-outdoor spaces. [pll]
  • Only a glass wall separates the deck from the gracious living room, giving these two spaces a sense of flow. The windows reflect nature both from within and without. [pll]
  • The living room divides into three groupings, one central one around the fireplace, a bookcase/study area to the south edge of the room, and a dining and seating area to the north. The sloping ceiling adds to the drama and open feeling of the space. [pll]
  • A replacement countertop and new appliances, added by the current homeowners, awakens the mid-century kitchen at the core of the house. The textile insets to the cabinets, also added, provide texture in keeping with the original design intent. A replacement cork floor unites the various rooms in this one level house. [pll]
  • An original light fixture hints at the streamlined budget for the structure. Spangler insisted on serving as the general contractor for the project and, as such, she narrowed the scope of work from the approved documents, including the fixtures and finishes eventually installed. [pll]

JoAnne Spangler Residence
Danville, Virginia (1958)

The Spangler Residence takes advantage of a deeply wooded lot, this one complete with a stream and steeply banked hillsides. The 1700-square foot, one-story home perches on the hillside and a large exterior deck floats above the creek, suspending deck-sitters in the midst of trees. A solid fireplace anchors the structure to the earth in the midst of a massive glass wall, counterbalancing the notch from the flying eave removed to preserve the other vertical on the south façade, a large shade tree. A central core on the interior of the structure contains bathroom and kitchen, separating the large, combined living-dining room from the more private bedroom and the den. Though he worked closely with the client at the onset of the project, Loewenstein encountered difficulty in his relationship with Miss Spangler, eventually forfeiting the commission on the house. Current owners Porter Aichele and Fritz Janschka purchased the house from the Spangler estate in 2006, citing its livability as a key to their decision to meticulously restore it, bringing back to life this mid-century gem.

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