The common architectural influences in Palo Alto range from Mediterranean to ranch style. Perhaps only one—an historic Dutch-Colonial home in the Professorville neighborhood—is, in part, inspired by Tintin, the beloved Belgian cartoon character. Montgomery Anderson of Cody Anderson Wasney Architects in Palo Alto explains how he married a landmark building and an old water tower with Tintin and his dog Snowy.
The house and a water tower were built in 1893 in Palo Alto’s Professorville, an historic district named for the number of Stanford professors who made their homes there. This house belonged to a Dr. Wing, an early city leader. Over the years, the water tower and home were connected by a series of ramshackle additions. Anderson’s task was to unite the pieces of the home and make it work for a modern family, all while preserving the original rooms and details of the main house.
Anderson connected the original house, a Dutch Colonial with quaint gambrel roof, to the water tower with a farmhouse-like two-story addition. Not only were the architects working under strict guidelines imposed on historic buildings, they also had to adhere to the green building practices laid out by the city.
The rooms in the new addition are free to embrace the 21st century with an exuberant nature. Oversize, organic shapes (circles and curves) and happy colors define the kitchen, family eating area and family room. Before the remodel, there was no direct access to the outdoors, but the new, and larger, window and doors make the transition from home to garden seamless.