Expansion Pack

For any architect, designing a new home means grappling with the usual—and usually daunting—challenges: budget limitations, client expectations, delays, design dilemmas, misunderstandings.

For Pittsburgh- and San Francisco–based architect Mary Barensfeld, a recent project meant the prospect of all those things, with a few additional factors layered in. Her clients were her parents, and the project was an expansion of her childhood home, a place infused with memory and complicated by history.

“It’s an idea and it’s a place,”

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