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6528 Residence

Owner testimonial:

“Brian and Andrea responded to the best elements of our mid century “Brady Bunch” house and seamlessly converted it into a tranquil, light-filled space. Their structural expertise and creative troubleshooting were perfect for our challenging renovation. Pairing a sculptural sensibility with functionality and playfulness, the Kellys’ design hit exactly the right notes. Their process was thorough, organized, and prompt. They also brought the flexibility we needed to refine our vision. Andrea and Brian were a complete pleasure to work with and we look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with them again.”


In 2018, a family of four purchased a house on the edge of Omaha which had been under the same ownership since it was built in 1968. The original owners had raised a family, retired, and aged out of the house and their children did not want to maintain possession of it. While this marked the end of a story for one family, it represented the beginning of a new adventure for another with pre-teen kids.

The house was dated and did not represent the lifestyle of the new owners, but they saw potential in its bones. The existing layout was compartmentalized, the materials were rugged, and the lack of natural light left spaces feeling drab. On the positive side, there was a beautiful site with an existing swimming pool, lush vegetation and privacy, and interior vaulted ceilings in the main living space which offered the opportunity for future breathable spaces. All they needed was an architect to see the vision through to occupancy. 

The owners were connected to Andrea and Brian through mutual friends who also had a house renovated by ATOM (5967 Residence). Because the owners would live in the house during the renovation, that meant phasing was necessary: interior upstairs (living, dining, kitchen, office, and a yet unimagined library) and then the basement and exterior (landscaping, front entry, tiny space, and equipment shed). The same process was engaged in their friends’ house and they ceremonially passed on a well-used hot plate which would suffice for cooking until the kitchen was completed. The design process was a collaborative effort with the owners, contractor (d.KISER design.construct), and architects. Phase 1 project goals included opening the house up, offering the ability to host family and friends supported by a completely redesigned kitchen, and places for the display of a modern art collection consisting of original pieces. Additionally, due to the height of the existing vaulted space, the architects were able to include a “book bridge” library which would continue to foster the family’s love of reading. Phase 2 project goals included a more welcoming front entry to the house, conversion of an existing carport into a tiny space which would later serve as the workout room with a view of the pool, replacement equipment shed, pool renovation, and landscape design which would connect all of the structures on site with a cohesive planting, hardscape, and circulation strategy. The latent conditions of the existing spaces (ex. structure and span lengths) were accentuated in the design process to both create efficiencies and unique design expressions. An example of this can be seen in the revised vaulted ceiling structure which needed to respond to existing ridge beam and support locations. The homeowners’ desire to have a much more open plan configuration meant we needed to reduce the number of support columns and walls since it moved through the center of the space. Working with the structural engineer (Jeff Ehler, InfraStructure LLC), the design team devised a scheme where an exposed ‘Y’ column would become a feature in the living space while also bringing existing and new roof beams within their performative limitations.

Additionally in Phase 2, the owners’ desire to reuse existing structures rather than demolish and discard challenged us to reprogram an unused carport on site. A ‘tiny workout facility’ synergizes existing and new elements to create a signature entry into the connective landscape design beyond. New and updated materials create a consistent visual language with the existing house. What was once an odd piece of this house’s fractured puzzle is now an iconic component meshed with the landscape and site circulation strategies.

Phase 1  construction began in winter 2018 and Phase 2 completed in summer 2023. The collaboration of the architects, general contractor, and subcontractors demonstrates the highest level of craft and attention to detail. Several custom feature elements were integrated including millwork, shelving, exposed structure, and perforated metal panel guardrails. All of this comes together in the final build which provides this family with a custom, unique space where they can write a new chapter in the history of this house. In a time where buildings are being torn down and discarded into landfills, this design seeks to be resourceful and add layers to existing spaces where the collage of old and new offer an identity which could not be achieved in a new build. 

Photography by Colin Conces