A 1962 Post-And-Beam Home Is Updated For Modern Living

Text from architects

McCulley Design Lab was enlisted to help bring this 1962 post-and-beam residence into the modern-day moment while retaining its midcentury focus on organic materials, indoor/outdoor flow and exceptional views. We worked closely with the clients whose art collection was integrated into the design, but whose design collaboration helped bring the project to life. 

Mid-century house in Lugano
Mid-century house in Lugano

Updating a home without losing its architectural ethos is a balancing act. Whether we’re remodeling a ranch or updating a mid-century post and beam, we always aim to preserve a sense of timelessness over design trends.

Homes aren’t like hemlines: They can’t change with the season, and with thoughtful design, you shouldn’t feel like you need to. This approach has informed other midcentury projects such as two William Krisel apartment buildings here in San Diego that we have recently completed updating. 

Mid-century house in Lugano
Mid-century house in Lugano

For this home, much of the work involved undoing renovations and remodels done in the 1980s and 1990s that compromised the home’s feel and flow. During the renovation, approximately 40% of the house was completely torn down and rebuilt.

We added on a new master wing, including a private office and gym, a new entry bridge, foyer, a bedroom suite with an attached pool and media room, as well as overhangs and additional architectural design elements. The garage and guesthouse were torn down and completely rebuilt due to a faulty foundation but maintained the same footprint as the original. The rest of the house was stripped to the beams, posts and slab, and rebuilt. 

Mid-century house in Lugano
Mid-century house in Lugano

To create a warm environment scaled to the client’s lifestyle that honors the original structure’s mid-century modern heritage while updating it in ways that make it appear that the home has never been “remodeled.” 

Key to the renovation was to continue with the original mid-century philosophy of blending interior and exterior living spaces while keeping ornamentation to a minimum.

Photos by Neue Focus, Inc

To achieve this, certain zones were rebuilt, including the original kitchen, dining room, foyer, private office, library, decks, pool and other areas, while other elements were maintained. The renovation expanded the footprint of the home with a new master bedroom suite, pool room, guest house, fitness room and other areas.