An Architect and Client Collaborate to Refresh a Midcentury Masterpiece

When Towson-based architect Peter Twohy of 2e Architects was approached by clients Andrea and Ken Burkom to do a complete update of a rambling 1960’s house they had recently bought, he jumped enthusiastically at the opportunity. The Burkoms were downsizing from a larger house in Reisterstown where they had lived for 11 years and wanted a home located closer to the city that would be better suited to the needs of their young family.

“This is truly a midcentury modern home,” Peter says. “Our goal was to stay true to the original essence of the design, update the feel and instill the clients’ vibrant personality.” 

One of the main tasks was to open up the kitchen to the living and dining area to create a more livable, open space. This required the removal of a bulky load-bearing masonry wall that included a fireplace and replacing it with a steel beam and columns, which they decided to leave exposed.  

“The [new] open floor plan effortlessly accommodates large parties, yet still manages to feel cozy when it’s just the five of us (Ozzy the bulldog included),” Andrea says. 

Replacing all the windows enables more natural light to enter the home. A dramatic 48-foot-long wall of floor-to-ceiling windows now makes the tree-lined yard outside seem almost like an extension of the interior living space.

The Burkoms also replaced the existing carport with a new two-car garage and built an addition that houses a gym, laundry room, art studio and two bedrooms for their teenage sons, TJ and Casey. Attractive and functional concrete floors were installed throughout the 3,900-square-foot home, flowing continuously into every room.

The focal point of the home is the back-lit onyx island in the kitchen. LED lights change color so the island can be purple on days the Ravens play (or any other color for any other reason), and cycle through every color of the rainbow for a New Years’ celebration.

Peter brought to the table his expertise as an architect of livable, high-end homes, while Andrea, an artist who had designed the Burkoms’ previous home, acted as her own interior designer for the project.

“It was very collaborative, and neither of us had an ego,” Peter says. “We both created a bunch of drawings and design concepts, searching for the best ideas for her, Ken and the boys. It was a very enjoyable experience.”