The house shell is modular, the roof panelized, and the garage stick-built. All come together in this single-floor living space with ample light and light airy spaces with a high, open ceiling.
The 1937 massing of the Louis B. Goodall Memorial Library is a Georgian Revival one and one-half story, tripartite building. The structure’s brick facade, topped with a slate roof topped with domed cupola, was designed by Sanford native, William O. Armitage. A substantial two-story addition was constructed in 1976, connected to the rear elevation of the original massing with a one-story hyphen.
B+W’s project includes removal of the existing circa 1990 entry vestibule and adding a new small entry vestibule with an upward curving cantilevered roof ushering patrons into the 1976 Addition.
The team at Barba & Wheelock has been nothing short of incredible to work with on our library renovation project. Through every step of the process they have been kind, professional, and attentive to even the smallest details we bring to the table. We cannot thank them enough for helping to turn our dream into reality to create a space that will have a lasting impact for our community.
– Nicole Bowley, Interim Director, Goodall Memorial Library
A larger, 636 SF addition will also be added to the rear of the 1979 addition, allowing additional meeting rooms, storage, and staff work rooms. The masonry veneer two-story addition will be on a similar scale as the 1976 addition and incorporates a modern stone veneer, echoing the language of both earlier building sections. The vestibule and new addition’s design are both a product of their own time and will be both distinctive from the 1976 addition as well as the 1937 original construction. The selection of modern, locally produced, masonry materials in compatible colors will complement, but be distinguished from the 1976 and 1937 brick masonry facades.
Minimal work is planned for the historic 1937 building. Exterior work is limited to repointing, minor masonry repairs, and installing new exterior storm windows. On the interior of the library, the 1976 addition’s first and second floors are going to be reconfigured to provide space for a new meeting room that will have its own separate after-hours entrance. A new circulation desk will be installed allowing staff to better meet the needs of patrons. Other added spaces include additional staff workspace, two new bathrooms, and small meeting rooms.
The 1976 addition will also receive a skylight to bring additional light into the second floor. A water feature and interior planting bed will also liven up the second floor space. Throughout the 1976 addition, we will be replacing the existing double hung windows with new awning and fixed picture windows to bring more light into the reading spaces.
The project is designed to be in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Preservation of the historic library building, and Standards for the Rehabilitation of Historic Structures through modification and construction of additions. B+W has taken careful consideration to design new additions that respect and pay homage to the historic building and to distinguish the new design from earlier construction phases.
B+W worked with the Owner to assemble a mostly local team of landscape designer, civil engineer and construction manager, and augmented the team with expertise in acoustical engineering, structural, mechanical, electrical, lighting design, and interior design.
The site design considered safety for the student drop off zone, but also, changes to make the experience more welcoming overall. Native plants, natural and locally sourced materials contribute to the beauty of the design.
The building addition is contextual yet designed as a modern counterpoint to the historic former church, offering a balance of old and new and signaling the new life that Bay Chamber’s use breathes into this property. The forms tuck neatly under the eaves of the old and set back to allow the historic building to rightfully retain its prominence. The project team worked diligently to find the most cost effective, best looking, sustainable and low maintenance materials to select for the exterior.
When Bay Chamber bought a historic landmark in Camden to house its concert series and music school, the magnitude of the project was not immediately apparent. Through a serendipitous introduction from another arts leader, we hired Barba + Wheelock and the work began to undertake a highly technical and also important architectural statement for our organization as well as the town. Melding a new addition with a 175+ year old former church was in B + W’s wheelhouse. Our new building reflects the mission of Bay Chamber to present traditional classical music while educating the next generation of musicians. Critical to the management and success of this project was team member Tim Morrison. His attention to detail, conscientiousness and patience were invaluable to a project that required tremendous forethought and flexibility. We offer our highest recommendation to the team at Barba + Wheelock.
– Monica Kelly, Executive Director, Bay Chamber Concerts & Music School
Geothermal heating was explored and eventually dismissed when the costs were found to be too high for the payback. A variable refrigerant flow Heat Pump system was selected as the project’s heat/cooling source and the system was designed to allow for solar photovoltaic arrays to be added to the roof later, if desired.
Acoustics play a critical component of the design with wall types and ceiling types designed with isolation clips and added sheetrock and doors with higher STC ratings and gaskets.
The Lemont Block was originally constructed in 1870 with retail spaces on the first floor and two meeting halls on the upper floors for fraternal/sororal organizations. Lemont Hall served as the venue for many compelling speeches and events in the 19th and early-20th centuries, including by Frederick Douglass and Joshua Chamberlain.
Prior to this project’s 2019 start, only the three storefronts on the first floor were occupied, the second and third floors had been vacant for over 20 years, and the fourth floor had been vacant for over 50 years.
The roof of the building was also not originally built to withstand the current codes for snow loads. On the fourth floor of the building, plaster removal revealed multiple prior structural repairs to the original structure. The roof ultimately required additional extensive structural repairs.
The current owners bought the building in 2019 and construction began in 2021. Now that the project is complete, the basement and first floors are occupied by three businesses and the upper floors have been converted into four residential units, which were immediately rented. The second floor Lemont Hall was retained/restored for public gatherings.
One of the major design challenges for the project was reconfiguring the interior space in a manner that qualified for Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits, a major funding source for the project. The large meeting spaces in Lemont Block’s upper floors had been inaccessible to the public for several decades, due to code compliance issues such as a steep existing stair disallowing a safe second means of egress, and a lack of elevator. B+W worked with Maine Historic Preservation Commission and the National Park Service to determine the best ways to repurpose the building without destroying its character-defining features.
Other work included installing steel beams to support the roof, adding a sprinkler system, designing a modern stair tower addition, decorative plaster, window, and other architectural element restoration, and residential unit design. One of the residential units includes an intact corner of original decorative plaster wall and ceiling painting surrounded by the restored painted plaster throughout the rest of the space.
This project received a Maine Preservation Honor Award in 2023.
The owners report that not a day goes by that someone doesn’t stop to gawk about how well their house fits in, or remind them of their family cottage, a great compliment to our design. This is especially wonderful considering that it contains 4 stories of living space including a finished basement, has an efficient electric heat pump system for heating and cooling, is fully insulated to modern codes, meets all of the city’s stormwater requirements to keep Willard Beach clean, didn’t block neighbor’s views, contains a glass filled corner that feels like a solarium inside, and greets the street with a porch where interaction among neighbors is the norm.
A new home and studio for the Architects is comprised of their 1,750-square-foot house and an independent, 1,000-square-foot architectural studio. Sited on a previously undeveloped parcel of land in a Portland neighborhood, the challenge was to both fit the new structure into the rhythm of the neighborhood, and yet create the least disruption of the natural habitat.
Without question, the site itself informed the design of the building. We located the house at the ecotone – perching it on an overlook between a native wildflower meadow that provides relief from the bustle of the street and nestled up to the peacefulness of over a hundred acres of sanctuary land.
Positioning the house on the slope allowed for an embedded full-height lower level in the hillside. By building upward instead of outward, the house touches the land lightly, also reducing maintenance and heating costs.
The solar orientation further informed the house’s alignment, looking toward the narrow view of the Fore River tributary. The long side of the house faces true south so that the living spaces on the south and west receive sunlight all day and benefit from passive heat gain all winter. One desire was to use some design principles of Vastu Shastra, a traditional Indian system of architecture. As a result, the front door faces east where the rising sun shines into the house to start the day.
The mother trees to the south provide wonderful comfort and summer shade for the long wall of full-height glass, without the need for solar shades. Shares in a solar farm offset the electrical use to approach net-zero.
Adaptability is key for aging in place: The main stair is wider to allow either adding a chair lift, but if we decide on one-floor living, the screen porch can be readily converted to a primary bedroom.
The architecture studio is on the lower level. With one large space and services tucked along the perimeter, the lower level is also adaptable to future uses: architecture studio, apartment, or even a place for the ping-pong table. It has two entrances, one shared and one independent entrance.
The main approach has a gabled roof, punctuated windows, and nautically evoked wood detailing. The entry mudroom opens up into a large room with floor-to-ceiling glass framing the forest beyond. The living room floats out over the land, like a ship’s bow, making one feel as if being transported via ferry to the islands, leaving the city behind at your back. The room is bathed in sunlight that plays on the off-white walls, with pops of colorful art and objects.
The multifunctioning spaces: living, dining, kitchen all reside in one large volume. The washer and dryer are tucked under a built-in sideboard. With a small sink, the sideboard serves as a bar, serving counter, flower-arranging area, and extra pantry storage, as well as a laundry.