Modernism Reborn: An Upscale Kitchen Addition

This house was built by architect Homer Delawie in 1971 for Dr. Charles Schroeder, who was San Diego Zoo director from 1953 to 1972 and the driving force behind the creation of the Wild Animal Park. An excellent example of Delawie’s relaxed mid-century style, the post-and-beam structure has glass walls that display panoramic views of the San Pasqual Valley. The key design challenge was to modernize and enlarge the kitchen, without compromising the clean lines and graceful flow of the original structure. Retro-nostalgia was not the answer; neither was introducing more wood to an already natural wood interior. The proportions of the new space and opportunities for expansion were strictly constrained — inside by the existing plan and outside by a steep rocky hillside. By using contemporary materials such as stainless steel, granite and rubber, the solution retains and updates key original design elements. A rebuilt, full-length hanging china cabinet uses brighter mahogany. New louver windows, cedar siding and colors match the rest of the house. This project seamlessly weaves a thoroughly modern kitchen into the spirit of the existing home. “It looks great”, says original architect Homer Delawie. “Everything goes together like it did before. You wouldn’t know there was an addition.”

Stainless-steel cabinets and countertops by KiProUSA.

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San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine “Great Kitchens for San Diego Lifestyles” November 2003


Architect: Heather Johnston Architect    Location: San Pasqual Valley, California Program: Addition to and remodel of 30-year old kitchen Area: 110 square feet existing, plus 70 square feet new Builder: Damon Arnett, ABCO Building Company Photography: Brett Drury Architectural Photography Inc., Brady Architectural Photography