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Wright House  Basement

Sunnyvale, CA

SIZE: 490 s.f.

DATE: 1993

COST: $85,000

The oldest house in Sunnyvale was purchased by a young couple who wanted to realize a fantasy by making it their home. MBA Architects surveyed the house to evaluate its condition and developed a prioritized plan of phased construction to rehabilitate this elegant Victorian farmhouse.

Foundation repair was the most serious requirement for the house; the owners decided to incorporate a basement game room and wine cellar as part of this phase. This room evolved into an elegant space with period wood paneling, wood floors, and cased beam ceiling to match the house. The existing basement stair was enlarged and trimmed with wood wainscoting and treads to match the rooms above. A secret ships ladder ending in an upstairs closet was an innovative solution to provide fire safety compliance -- a second exit -- without disturbing any of the main floor plan. Construction commenced in 1993.