Launch Slideshow

308 Mulberry, Lewes, Del.

308 Mulberry, Lewes, Del.

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    Maxwell MacKenzie

    The historical two-story house remains prominent from the street.

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    Maxwell MacKenzie

    The old house’s interiors are bright, crisp, and modern.

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    Master bath

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    Maxwell MacKenzie

    Open-tread stairs lead to the third-floor bedroom.

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    Maxwell MacKenzie

    Under the gable roof, a glass wall funnels light down through the old house.

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    Maxwell MacKenzie

    The third-floor bedroom.

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    An outdoor shower occupies a nook outside the pool bath.

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    The exercise room.

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    Maxwell MacKenzie

    Four linked pavilions behind the house more than doubled the footprint.

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    Courtesy Robert M. Gurney

    Site plan

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    Courtesy Robert M. Gurney

    First floor plan

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    Courtesy Robert M. Gurney

    Second floor plan

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    Courtesy Robert M. Gurney

    Third floor plan

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    Courtesy Robert M. Gurney

    Axonometric

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    Maxwell MacKenzie

    The old house contains a master suite (right foreground), entry hall, and three bedrooms on the second and third floors.

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    The kitchen/living pavilion faces a new pool courtyard.

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    A circular aperture marks passage between the living area and screened porch.

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    Maxwell MacKenzie

    Brick pavers tie into the historic fabric.

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    Maxwell MacKenzie

    Familiar forms, such as the bath volumeís steeply pitched roof, eschew overhangs and gutters.

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    The kitchen/living pavilion has mahogany walls and ceilings, basalt flooring, white marble counters and fireplace, and stainless steel cabinetry.

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    Maxwell MacKenzie

    A long ridge skylight illuminates the living pavilion.

Who knew a historic house could live so progressively behind its by-the-book façade? Asked to double the footprint of an early 19th-century house in this beach town’s historic heart, Robert M. Gurney restored the exterior to its original condition. But the ambitious interior redo relates flawlessly to a floor plan that encompasses four one-story pavilions.

In lieu of tacking on a giant addition, Gurney created separate buildings that form a courtyard around the new swimming pool. The original house’s first floor now contains a master suite, a powder room, and a foyer that leads through the house to a kitchen/dining/living pavilion. Upstairs in the old house are three bedrooms—two on the second floor and one on the third. Additional pavilions house a bathroom, a screened porch with Douglas fir walls and a fireplace, and an exercise room.

“We used familiar forms, including a steeply pitched pyramid roof on one volume,” Gurney says. The shingled pavilions have tall red-brick chimneys but no overhangs, gutters, or trim, and lots of glass in black steel frames. The interiors, even in the historic house, are modern, crisp, and light-filled. The additions explore the language of the old house, enclose the backyard space, and bring the project down to scale, our judges noted approvingly. “It transcends but still respects the existing house,” one said.


Entrant/Architect: Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect, Washington, D.C.; Project architect: Brian Tuskey, Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect; Builder: Ilex Construction, Easton, Md.; Landscape designer: South Fork Studio Landscape Architecture, Chestertown, Md.; Interior designer: Baron Gurney Interiors, Washington; Living space: 2,338 square feet; Site: 0.18 acre; Construction cost: Withheld; Photographer: Maxwell MacKenzie.


Resources: Bathroom cabinets: Woods and Style, www.woodsandstyle.com; Bathroom fittings: Dornbracht, www.dornbracht.com; Bathroom fixtures: Duravit, www.duravit.com, Kohler, www.kohler.com; Cooktop: Miele, www.miele.com; Dishwasher: Bosch, www.bosch-home.com; Doors: Hope’s, www.hopeswindows.com; Garbage disposer: Insinkerator, www.insinkerator.com; Kitchen cabinets: Woods and Style, www.woodsandstyle.com; Kitchen fittings: Dornbracht, www.dornbracht.com; Kitchen fixtures: Julien, www.julien.ca; Paints/stains/wall finishes: Sherwin-Williams, www.sherwin-williams.com; Refrigerator: Sub-Zero, www.subzero-wolf.com; Windows: Hope’s, www.hopeswindows.com