The homeowners include a 22-year old son with muscular dystrophy. The project began with the search for an existing home that could accommodate his and the family’s needs, in particular the ability for him to have a distinct environment yet be connected to the larger whole. A sprawling Cape with a full-length walk-out lower level was identified. Same walk-out featured an unusually large bathroom area, optimal for conversion to an accessible environment. The project’s centerpiece is an elevator that delivers the son from the lower level to the main level in an in-one-end and out-the-other manner. He enters the main level in the mud room, which is close to but not within the main living spaces. The mud room is floored with bluestone that extends out the exterior door to a new covered entrance. The covered entrance is at the same level as the interior (a small cast-iron trench drain outside the door captures any wind-driven rain), and the exterior features a short new ramp behind a stone-clad wall.
As a result, once the son ascends the ramp to the exterior door, or ascends the elevator, he is at the level of the main floor. There are no interior level changes, no need for lifts or any sign that this is an accessible house. It is elegantly simple, and effective.
The lower level bathroom, and all baths, feature no curbs and linear slot drains so that the floor tile flows uninterrupted into shower areas. All-new LED lighting, closed-cell insulation, skip-sheathing cedar roof and low-E insulating glass windows ensure that this home will continue to perform for many years to come.