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March 1, 2015
A modern makeover puts a Baton Rouge home in touch with its picturesque surroundings.
Highland Road Renovation showing front exterior

The front elevation reveals two exterior innovations by the architects. Firstly, most Baton Rouge roofs are clad in dark wooden shingles to obscure the mold that will grow in the hot humid climate. This house’s metal cladding prevents that growth from occurring while reflecting sunlight and cutting cooling bills. Additionally, a system of exterior ipe slats, with a rainscreen underneath, means the wood will absorb sunlight and keep the additions cool. The ipe will lighten overtime to better match the home’s grey exterior.

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Highland Road House Renovation showing exterior entrance

The house’s entrance reveals some of its new floor-to-ceiling windows, many of which double as sliding doors for easy access to the exterior. Privacy was not an issue for the property, though certain rooms are outfitted with curtains. 

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Highland Road House Renovation showing kitchen

The concrete directional pavers, which begin outside the main entrance, continue through the kitchen and outside to the patio. The kitchen rear wall was totally removed to make way for floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors that facilitate movement from the interior to the outdoor cooking and entertainment area. 

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Highland Road House Renovation showing yard and patio

The motif of stone directional pavers culminates in these concrete benches, ideal for hosting and relaxing. When cooking, the residents can easily walk over to a nearby garden for vegetables, or chicken coup for eggs. The large ipe-clad addition on the right is the master bedroom, also equipped with sliding doors for easy outdoor access. 

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Highland Road Renovation master bath and outdoor shower

Nestled in between the master bedroom addition and the master bathroom is an outdoor shower. Just as with the kitchen and patio, floor-to-ceiling glazing and continuous concrete pavers blur the barrier between interior and exterior. 

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Outdoor Shower after Highland Road house renovation

The shower offers a multisensory experience: the architect described how clients can take hot showers in the rain or simply lounge in the capacious garden area. Mint plants growing between the pavers release a pleasant smell when stepped upon. 

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Entry foyer and staircase after renovation of Highland Road house

Back in the entry foyer, the architects removed a fully enclosed stair to open up the interior. An operable sunlight just above the stairwell allows hot air to escape, inducing a cooling airflow below and naturally ventilating the space. The space in the image’s foreground, located directly adjacent to the kitchen, is now the formal dining area. 

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Floating Guest Room under oak tree of Highland Road house after renovation

Oak trees are a precious but delicate feature of southern landscapes: their shallow roots extend far from their bases and are vulnerable to light foot traffic and certainly building foundations. +one design & construction used a “coil pile” foundation system, essentially of corkscrew-like supports, that allows the guest room to harmlessly float over the roots of this 80-year old tree.  

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Floating Guest bedroom interior in Highland Road house after renovation

The guestroom also features floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors, affording the same outdoor access, which here looks out onto the property’s chicken coop

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Highland Road Renovation showing front exterior

The front elevation reveals two exterior innovations by the architects. Firstly, most Baton Rouge roofs are clad in dark wooden shingles to obscure the mold that will grow in the hot humid climate. This house’s metal cladding prevents that growth from occurring while reflecting sunlight and cutting cooling bills. Additionally, a system of exterior ipe slats, with a rainscreen underneath, means the wood will absorb sunlight and keep the additions cool. The ipe will lighten overtime to better match the home’s grey exterior.

In a historic area of Baton Rouge, a growing family sought to expand their home and reconnect it to its beautiful natural surroundings. The original house, built in a traditional style, offered poor visual and physical access to the property’s numerous amenities: a pond, chicken coops, garden, a large oak tree, and extensive open landscape. The family asked the designers and builders of +one design & construction for easier movement between indoors and outdoors while crafting an open interior with contemporary features and comforts. Lastly, as the family frequently hosts guests for grilling and socializing, the renovation would have to entail a new outdoor kitchen and patio.

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