Magazine article Sunset

Unrecognizable Basement, Can You Spot the Ductwork?

Magazine article Sunset

Unrecognizable Basement, Can You Spot the Ductwork?

Article excerpt

Unrecognizable basement. Can you spot the ductwork?

It doesn't look like a basement any more. That's the consensus after the owners of this Craftsman-era house reclaimed 850 square feet of basement space for a new family room, study, and laundry-storage area. After reading an article in Sunset about remodeling a basement, the owners called architect Jack Hoyt to their house on a sloping site in Berkeley, California.

"It was a typical basement,' recalls Hoyt. "A load-bearing wall ran down the center, dividing the basement into two roughly equal areas. The western half was open, but the furnace and ductwork took up the eastern half.' Hoyt installed a new furnace, then organized his design around a disguise for the ducting.

He removed part of the central wall to create a single L-shaped living space. The family room occupies the long section of the L, facing the one exterior wall that is fully above grade. Hoyt treated this westfacing wall as the primary light source, adding windows and doors. He put the study in the short section of the L, where the southeast part of the basement was dug into the hill. …

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