I enjoy the home remodeling process. Add a hangar and home remodel at the same time and I am a kid in a candy store. The latest subject for our HangarPad Review sits right in the heart of Spruce Creek Airpark. This airpark is the largest in the world and includes a golf course, restaurant, and even a hair salon right on the main taxiway. Through an introduction via the Cirrus Owner and Pilot Association (COPA), I had the opportunity to visit the home of Canadian Adam Bryan and see the end result of a major renovation.
I’ve never met a Canadian I didn’t like and Adam was no exception. I received a full tour of the home, hangar, and the airpark via golf cart and witnessed a huge variety of home styles. Spruce Creek has been around a long time and the styles of the 70s, 80s, 90s, and today are ever present. Adam purchased the home a few years ago and began transforming the 80s-style home into a modern, open, and functional residence. He also stumbled into an interesting solution to the age-old hangar home question…”Do I attach the hangar to the home or not?”
All styling aside, the home’s original layout was probably the most troublesome element. Structurally, the home was sound but its interior floor plan was compartmentalized into zones with no significant views within them or to the hangar and tropical paradise just beyond its walls. Compounding this problem was the wasted potential of an ill-planned and poorly executed breezeway separating the hangar from the rest of the home. Adam said, “I can see potential” and began renovations in April of 2012.
When looking at a home with the intent to remodel, one must be able to accomplish three things: clear your mind, envision what can take shape, and most importantly, be ready to make things worse before they get better. Adam did just that and proceeded to knock down walls, repartition space in an efficient manor, and configure the home in such a way that the home, hangar, and pool area would all integrate seamlessly.
All bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry room, dining area, kitchen, pool, and every element within the hangar would be touched either by hammer or paint brush. All would receive granite and other modern accouterments commensurate with today’s trendy styles. Nothing was left unaltered as even the home’s tile floor, pool deck, and even the driveway would be painstakingly removed and upgraded with stone and tile.
The most noticeable and most important change was that of the kitchen. It was centrally located within the house but a large partition wall would visually isolate almost half of it from the remainder of the house. The kitchen was angled towards a single, sliding glass door that revealed nothing but the hangar’s bland stucco wall across a breezeway. An open floor plan was desired and resulted in a kitchen that needed to be picked up and rotated 90 degrees. The restrictive partition wall would not have a say in its demise and the new layout would reveal a kitchen as the home’s anchor and command center yielding panoramic views of the hangar, pool deck, dining room, and family room in one sweep of the eye. No small task when orchestrating the renovation effort from Toronto.
The newly designed kitchen carried the open theme of the house but also enabled Adam to engineer the feat of incorporating the pool deck, hangar, and home into what would appear as one consistent living area. Every single one of these primary elements appears as a natural extension of each other. This was accomplished by replacing the existing 9-foot sliding glass door in the kitchen. Adam then continued to add two additional doors of equal size along the same southeast wall for a grand total of 27 feet of glass wall that could be opened to the outdoors. In all, a total of six, 9-foot doors would be added to the home and hangar where no such doors existed before.
Hangar Renovation –
The hangar and home are independent structures yet share a common roof. The existing space between the two acted as a breezeway prior to the renovation and was equipped with a mini bar and outdoor grill just large enough to pour a drink and prepare a small meal. It was a humble space serving no real appeal in support of the home. A simple service door and the aforementioned sliding glass door granted access to hangar and home, respectively.
Not to be outdone by the 27 feet of glass now lining the home’s southeast wall, the hangar’s northwest (aft) wall would see the mini bar, grill, and service door gutted and be replaced with two, 9-foot openings. One opening would receive a glass slider and the other would receive a roll-up metal door with a special purpose. Hangar and home now face each other with opposing doors that offer unrestricted peaks of the family’s Cirrus SR22 inside the hangar from the home’s kitchen and family room.
A tremendous amount of hangar renovation had to be completed in order to achieve the desired synergy between it and the home. The original design of the hangar was just as lackluster as the home’s original layout as their existed a tumultuous amount of wasted space. Storage rooms and a bathroom at the back corners of the hangar ate up essential square footage and did not provide enough utility to justify their existence. All would be removed to make way not just for the two new doors but also for an office and a full-service bar.
The U-shaped bar takes up one-third of the hangar’s aft wall. The top of the “U” is tucked into the northwest corner with the right side of the “U” adjacent to the back wall. The layout is actually quite ingenious as this configuration allows Adam the opportunity to serve drinks from within the hangar to guests in the breezeway who just exited the pool and are dripping wet or to those who overflowed from within the hangar. If for some reason the temperatures of sunny Florida become uncomfortably cool or the wind begins to blow, the roll-up door can be closed and the bar can continue to serve its patrons to those within the hangar. In reality, the roll-up door is “up” most of the time.
The back of the hangar was also equipped with another feature. A mezzanine was constructed to give more dimension, more useable square footage for relaxation, and to provide a bird’s eye view of the rest of the hangar. The mezzanine is reached through a spiral staircase at the east wall. At the top of the landing, one will be greeted with tempered glass railings, a contemporary bathroom, and cleverly utilized Murphy bed designed to maximize the utility of the approximate 400 square feet of space.
The hangar’s aft, concrete wall was not the only wall to be rebuilt. Armed with blue painter’s tape, Adam would estimate rough locations on the hangar’s west wall to accommodate the two final glass sliders. A surgical demolition would ensue and 18 more feet of glass doors would be installed. Even with the primary hangar door closed (it too was replaced with a Schweiss Door), the amount of natural light that floods the hangar is incredible. Most importantly, nothing beats the view of a Cirrus and a pool, both sporting Caribbean blue, just feet from one another.
I’m happy to say that Adam didn’t overlook anything. Seven doors, of which six now exist in places where none did before, create an amazing mosaic of lush tropics, aviation, and contemporary living. The entire home morphed from a structure that was fighting with itself to a home where every element; hangar, home, and pool came together in synergistic harmony.
One final thought, for those of you who are always contemplating whether it’s better to attach the hangar to the house or to construct them as two separate structures, this, I believe, is the silver bullet solution.