House with Two Stairs

Renovation and addition to a Victorian house in the Leadville Colorado National Historic District for a family of skiers and art collectors. The addition preserves the existing historic house, wrapped in translucent skin on the interior, while adding a sawtooth expansion maximizing daylight and eastern views of the mountains. The design received unanimous approval from the Leadville Historic Preservation Committee and Leadville City Council.

Internally, both existing house and new addition are organized around a pair of volumetric stair cores—one new, the other historic. The First Stair contains ADA-compliant bathrooms and a kitchen within its’ existing footprint: the Second Stair is a new construction, holding a new entry with other support services sheathed in plywood panels.

By retaining as much of the original structure as possible, Double Stair House limits its embodied carbon expenditure to only those elements of the house most in need of replacement, repairing and restoring what remains.

Leadville, Colorado

Historic District Consultant: Form+Works Design Group LLC Structural Engineer: JVA Consulting Engineers

Drawing Agency LLC is a design and research practice based in New York City founded by Galen Pardee (Assoc. AIA), with projects in New York, California, and Colorado. Drawing Agency’s work has been published widely and exhibited in the United States and abroad, including the Chicago Architecture Biennal and the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Director Galen Pardee teaches at Columbia University GSAPP; he was the 2019-2021 LeFevre Emerging Practitioner Fellow at The Ohio State University’s Knowlton School of Architecture, and has taught architecture and landscape architecture studios at Barnard University, Sarah Lawrence College, and the University of Tennessee. Galen holds a Masters in Architecture from Columbia University GSAPP where he received the Alpha Rho Chi Medal, and a BA in Politics cum laude from Brandeis University.


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