Renovating an old steel framed house that was abandoned in the 1960s, architects at Tonic Design + Construction have managed to use the bones of the old place to create a beautiful residence for a couple of art collectors. Insisting on keeping the original concept of the house, John and Molly Chiles recognized the potential of the space, seeing open perches and quiet retreats nestled into its steel frame.
The Chiles Residence is set in a hilly landscape of Raleigh, North Carolina. Overlooking Crabtree Creek, with rotted woodwork and decaying façade, the remains of the old house were transformed into a home that celebrates mid-20th century modern design. The new spatial organization, following the principles of open floor plan, creates a loft-like space in which the transition from one area to another is subtly marked by pieces of the Chiles’ extensive art collection.
From the outside, the house looks almost completely transparent. The clearly defined steel structure is topped with a large roof deck, an outdoor space for gatherings and various social events organized by the owners of the house. The striking spiral staircase, attached to one of the facades and creating a visual contrast to the orthogonal layout of the house, connects the roof deck to the main living area.
The project for the renovation won an Honor Award from the North Carolina chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2006.