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Farmhouse Renovations:
Uxbridge, MA

This Farmhouse dates from 1780, and was renovated in 1950 and again in 2010 by two architects within the same family. The childhood home of Mr. Wheelock, it continues now as the Wheelock homestead. The first renovation was designed by Catherine Claman, AIA, Mr. Wheelock's aunt, who, in order to reconfigure the first floor into an open space plan, designed a wood truss within the attic, from which a steel tension rod was connected to the second floor framing, thereby eliminating the load-bearing partition below. Harry Portnoy, AIA, a close friend & associate of Ms. Claman, designed an addition to the house in 1964; it contains a master bedroom/bathroom and a sloped-ceiling great room with an entirely-glazed gable end looking out to the back fields.

Wheelock Associates' design goal was to retain the architectural details, interior spatial continuity and hierarchy developed by Ms. Claman and Mr. Portnoy, while fixing issues not anticipated or beyond the scope of the previous renovations. Among these issues were the undersized kitchen and master bathroom/walk-in closet. The major move which made all things possible was the relocation of the original stair to the cellar from the kitchen area to the former china closet adjacent to the central fireplace. This permitted the kitchen floor area to be effectively doubled and presented opportunities to totally redesign the the kitchen layout, extend the space to the roof, and install skylights for natural light and ventilation. At the private area of the house, the master bathroom was enlarged and closets added to the master bedroom, and the washer and dryer were relocated adjacent to the back stairs. New lighting fixtures were installed in the kitchen, dining room, master bathroom and exterior doors, floors were refinished, and interiors were repainted with new color schemes. Finally, the 60 year-old heating, electrical and plumbing systems were replaced.

Building Information Modeling technologies were utilized to produce the design and working drawings. For example, the 3-D building model was used to confirm that enough room existed in the existing china closet to place a new stair to the cellar and maintain code-compliant clearances. The new kitchen and master bathroom, complete with cabinetry, fixtures, and lighting, were evaluated extensively in three dimensions to provide a more accurate visualization and to predict with precision how the spaces would look, feel, and function in advance of the actual construction. The building model (see exterior perspective images below) meant that plan, section, & elevation drawings would be updated automatically, thus eliminating coordination issues and streamlining the drawing process. Finally, perspective interior renderings were provided to the cabinet fabricator & general contractor, which greatly facilitated their understanding of the design intent and made their jobs easier.

Exterior SE Kitchen East Kitchen West  
elev south living rm mbedrm  
Elev SE Elev SW mbath1  



© 2018 Philip S. Wheelock, Jr. AIA