Henry Hoover Masterpiece Restored
Henry Hoover, a pioneer of New England modernist architecture, designed this 1958 gem. After graduating from Harvard’s GSD, Hoover worked for landscape architect Fletcher Steele. What he learned there accounts for this home’s careful integration within its natural context. Steps lead from the parking area to the front door, carefully following the natural contours of the land, and even the slope of the roof mimics the surrounding terrain, a testament to Hoover’s immense talent.
Flavin Architects designed the restoration and updating of the Germeshausen House interior. A major element of the redesign was intended to create a more comfortable living space. To update the original uninsulated poured concrete floor, we added a radiant heat system and covered that with a more organic violet and green natural cleft slate.
Along with the insertion of this new system, finishes were refurbished with due respect to the integrity of Hoover’s original vision. Hand glazed tiles from Heath Ceramics replaced deteriorating tile in the bathrooms, while the Douglas fir walls were stripped and refinished. Flavin Architects was honored to meet this challenge and to update the feel of Hoover’s masterfully designed Germeshausen House.
Heating sat at the top of the team’s project list. With a poured-concrete slab with no vapor barrier or insulation below, heating the home had proved costly. Colin Flavin, founding principal of Flavin Architects, says that this is not an uncommon occurrence in Midcentury homes. “The slab on grade was expensive to heat, and the radiant cold from the floor was less than ideal.” The solution? Add radiant heating in the floors. “To do this," says Flavin, "the general contractor had to remove the existing floor tile and associated mortar bed. Once complete, they installed one-inch board insulation, hot water heat tubes in the mortar, and then the new three-quarter-inch Vermont slate” Flavin says."Midcentury Warm-up," Atomic Ranch, 2016
Cutting Edge Systems
Murat Oztermiyeci of New England Architectural Finishing
Nat Rea Photography
"Midcentury Warm-up," Atomic Ranch, 2016