Growing a Cape in Rosemont

To renovate a small house, on a small lot, in an existing coveted neighborhood of Portland, MJM+A Architects had a number of challenges and goals to meet. The owners know they want to stay put, but they desperately need more space for their growing family of four. It was obvious that, given the minimal lot size, with its modest backyard facing one of the city’s parks, the existing 1,265-square-foot Cape needs to grow, but not at the expense of any of the precious yard space. Thus, vertical expansion, maintaining the existing Cape footprint, is the clear direction. The intention is to remove the existing gable roof atop the first floor and construct a full second story containing the children’s rooms and guest quarters, on top of which a modest owners’ level is designed. This third floor will include a deck off the bedroom that faces south to the park and a walking path—a great place to wave to neighbors over morning coffee. The handling of the exterior finishes of this unique volume will both play with and respect its Cape roots, with clapboards at the first floor, shake siding at the second to recall the shingle roof that once was, and vertical siding at the setback volume of the top floor to represent the last vertical “push” of the new structure. All are excited about the project, but none as much as the clients’ two young daughters, who will finally have their own rooms.

Location: Portland
Architect: MJM+A Architects
Project Architect: Ryan Scipione, AIA, ARA
Construction start: Fall 2021
Construction complete: Spring 2022

Share The Inspiration