Description: The Cafritz Residence, designed for a couple whose son is a residential builder, involved the tear down of an existing house on a small lot with very limited depth. A standard home from the Builder’s portfolio would not fit within the established setback requirements. Rui Ponte was asked to design a home that met the Owner’s program within the confines of the building envelope of the lot. An existing curb cut for the driveway was to be kept as well as an old specimen tree at a third of the lot’s depth. The Owners wished to keep the scale of the home consistent with the neighborhood and avoid more than two levels. In order to meet the Owner’s program, the design part required a very wide home, since depth was limited and the desire to avoid multiple levels was solved with the use of an elevator to serve the upper floor master suite. Mrs. Cafritz is an accomplished painter and required a separate painting studio. As a design solution, the garage was located on the North side of the lot with the painting studio above in a cathedral space with an abundance of natural light. The main level is organized with as a traditional center hall stair that becomes the focal point of the main level, serving as a lightwell for all levels, and since the windows surrounding the stair face East this allows morning light to bathe the less formal family spaces; the kitchen, family room and bedroom gallery. The main formal spaces, living, dining and library are located facing the public street side of the home.
The Cafritz Residence won the HAHB Award for “Best Living” for homes below 4,500sf.