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A Rooftop Deck on an Urban House

Creative indoor and outdoor living space connect this modern home to its natural, urban surroundings

After architect Tina Govan's clients learned that the small house they had just purchased was structurally unsound, their plans for a renovation turned into plans for an entirely new house. The result is a home that uses advanced building technologies—structural insulated panels, a geothermal heat pump, a rainwater-collection system—and that repeats key patterns common to the 1920s bungalows that dot the neighborhood, such as exposed rafter tails, common roof slopes, the use of lap siding and simple exterior trim, and most important, a generous front porch. Many details have been reinterpreted, however, such as the front porch and its roof, which are curved rather than linear. But the big surprise is a rooftop deck, which serves as an outdoor living room overlooking the street.

A Rooftop Deck on an Urban House

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