Pinon House, Mid-Century Modern Renovation Reveals Natural Aesthetic

Pinon Home

This website spends a good amount of time talking about new homes and innovation, but don’t let us fool you into thinking everything has to be brand new.  Just like the Box House renovation, this house, the Pinon House, is a great example of marrying the old and new to create an incredible living space.  Lead designer Rick Sommerfeld and the3rdspace, with the collaboration of Rob Pyatt, sent us the following narrative of their work on the Pinion House:


The redesign of this 1950’s mid-century modern ranch modernizes a concrete block and plate glass home that was structurally failing due to poor soils conditions.  The structural rework gave an opportunity to reconsider the "usonian" principals on both the interior and exterior of the home.

The entry courtyard is reprogrammed into public and private spaces by the simple insertion of a slated wall that doubles as a bench. The wall filters the view of the private patio from the front courtyard and redirects visitors towards entry while providing seating for the rear courtyard.


The front door is reconsidered as a way to accentuate the slippage of material from exterior to interior. The offset pivot hinge door opens to reveal that the 1×1 block wall continues into home from the exterior wall.



On the interior of the home, the original block wall dividing kitchen and living room was replaced by a three-quarter height, internally illuminated ribbon mahogany wall that helps open the kitchen up from its cramped 1950’s design.

Pinonkitchen Pinonkitchen2


The galvalume ceiling treatment for the kitchen helps reflect light back down onto the work surfaces and continues outside, seemingly through the glass, to cover the soffit. Once outside the metal turns up the fascia where it hides an integrated gutter and ultimately becomes a galvalume standing seam metal roof.

The original cork floor and cedar ceilings were refinished and the lighting was replaced to brighten the spaces. The windows and doors on the north side of the building were replaced to minimize heat loss in the winter.


The original concrete block, unfinished cedar fence, mild steel door, and galvalume roof create a palette of natural materials that will show their age over time. They act in concert as markers of the synthesis between old and new architecture and reconsidered design philosophies.


Narrative Credit: Rick Sommerfeld and Rob Pyatt; Photo credits: Michael Deleon Photo. 

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  • Team Wicanders

    We love the cork floors! You’ll be glad you kept them. It’s just what nature intended.
    Team Wicanders

  • Angie

    Horrible….It looks like a prison. Bleah!

    • Preston

      If this is what prison looks like, sign me up. This home is incredible.

    • Mike M

      I don’t think it is horrible at all. The only element I don’t care for is the ceilings in the kitchen. I understand the concept of redirecting light back down from the ceiling, I just think it makes the kitchen look too commercial. I will also say I wish the interior blocks had a more warm and natural color too them. The one element I really loved is the offset pivot doors. While it may be hard to get a couch through them, they are beautiful.

  • 5280mod

    The greenest house is the one that has already been built.

    We in the Denver/Boulder area are very fortunate to have outstanding mid-century modern architecture. 5280mod applauds those who take on preserving and restovating these under appreciated and rapidly disappearing gems.

  • perry degener

    It has a WRIGHT feel to it–not exactly Frank, but it’s a right Wright, cunningly wrought!

  • Mid Century Furniture

    WOW, gorgeous design.

  • Marble Polishing Miami

    The views are great! Great place to hangout!

  • Net Window Sets

    I wish I’m living here.. I can see some touch of asian interior design here.. Am I right?

  • Abstract Sculpture

    This house may not be for everyone, but it’s definitely for ME…I love it!

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