2011 Home of the Year: teres58domus

This year's honorees include a uniquely shaped former garage turned single-family home, a spacious downtown loft and a cozy kitchen. Here, we bring you inside to visit these award-winning designs.

The entrance of the home leads into the den and sitting area with warm oak paneling and dark maple floors. Also, the glowing orange glass warms the view of a ventless gas fireplace surrounded by oak paneling; a light grid is suspended from the structure’s exposed original ceiling.

Photos by John Wee

In a year when the down-turned economy has taken a toll on the architecture and design professions, we have found something to celebrate: the winners of Pittsburgh magazine´s second-annual Home of the Year contest.

Our friends at AIA Columbus, a chapter of the American Institute of Architects, graciously provided their expertise to judge our competition. The panel consisted of Jonathan Barnes, AIA, of Jonathan Barnes Architecture + Design; and Michael Bongiorno, AIA, of Design Group. Judging was coordinated by Gwen Berlekamp, executive director of AIA Columbus.


Home of the Year

Winner: teres58domus
Best New Home Over $500,000: M Franko Properties LLC, Mark Frankovitch
Architect: Mark Frankovitch
Builder: Bob Hill, M Franko Properties LLC
Interior Design: Mark Frankovitch
Decorator: Cindy Pagac, Stuffurnishings Accessories & Design

Architect Mark Frankovitch discovered “the funny little building behind Nakama with the rounded side” on his daily commute. He drove past the property nearly every day—as do many other South Siders who cut over to Muriel Street to avoid the congestion on East Carson Street.

“It’s definitely a unique spot on the corner of one of the most heavily traveled corners in the South Side,” Frankovitch says, “and it gets a lot of visibility.”

tal Bridge Faith Community, the property was acquired by Frankovitch, who started conjuring up ideas and working with his design for the unique space, which he named teres (Latin for rounded), 58 (the house number) and domus (Latin for home).

Frankovitch wanted to incorporate the existing structure into his design, so he used the block walls and concrete roof to build upward, adding a second and third floor to transform the building into a single-family home.

Construction started in January 2010 and continued through one of the most brutal winters in recent history with record-breaking snowfalls. Amazingly, the crew managed not to miss a day of work.

One of the property’s most distinctive features, the curved wall at the front corner, actually follows the property’s lot line. Frankovitch enlisted horizontally hung cedar to mask the wall of block.

“We recognized the attempt to address the corner condition and achieve an appropriate scale through an assembly of distinct building components,” said the judges.

That existing block building was transformed inside to house the living room, den and kitchen.

And two roof decks, two bathrooms, the master bedroom and a home office were added above it.

Over the former parking pad, Frankovitch designed and built a three-story tower to house an integral garage, second-floor bedroom, third-floor bedroom and two roof decks. The Hardie panel, a resistant masonry siding that covers the tower, was painted a shockingly bright shade of chartreuse, a design choice that was questioned by quite a few people.

However, the vibrant, lively color complemented the warm tones of the cedar used on the rounded front of the structure as well as the metal accents, providing an artistic “pop.”

That choice impressed the judges, who remarked that they “felt this was a skillful in-fill project, a departure from the surrounding context in terms of style that had an interesting combination of exterior materials.”

By the time the project was completed, the building’s size nearly doubled. The 2,400 square feet of indoor living space was enhanced by four multi-leveled roof decks providing thousands of square feet of outdoor space along with 360-degree views of downtown and the South Side Slopes.

Inside, the warm palate of materials continues through the use of bamboo and maple flooring, oak-wood-wrapped walls in the den, and glass and stone tile lining the shower walls. An earth-tone paint palate—ranging from taupe to almost black—covers fresh drywall that conceals the home’s updated mechanicals. The kitchen features sleek cabinetry, stainless-steel counters and a built-in aquarium backsplash.

As the judges noted, “The interior has interesting level changes and an adept use of interior material palate.”

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