Midvale Courtyard HouseContemporary Patio, Milwaukee
Tricia Shay Photography
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2. You Have a Tricky Problem to SolveArchitects are skilled at solving tricky design problems — and they love a good challenge. Whether you want to camouflage an unsightly feature, increase accessibility or work around a steep slope, a trained architect can come up with creative, elegant solutions.When Dino Maniaci and Jason Hoke purchased the midcentury home shown here, they knew they wanted to open it up to the outdoors, but it wasn’t clear how that could be done — in their dense Madison, Wisconsin, neighborhood, exterior windows would only create privacy issues. Enter architect Stephen Bruns: To open up views to outdoor spaces without creating sight lines directly into neighbors’ homes, Bruns created a clever series of courtyards that maintain a sense of seclusion even as they connect the home with the outdoors.See more of this contemporary home in Wisconsin
The first floor wraps around a middle courtyard, which Bruns added by taking a big bite out of the original floor plan. The new main suite rises overhead. The architectural levels underneath the terrace conceal some structural and mechanical elements.Hoke and Maniaci liked the midcentury-style pitched roof on the original house and wanted to maintain a similar style. The rear half of the house has the original roof, while the new addition mirrors its pitch.