A new look for the igloo

Prepare yourself, Richmond: The igloo is collapsing.

Demolition is scheduled to begin this month on eye-catching structure, located on the south bank of the James River and clearly visible to southbound drivers on the Edward E. Willey Bridge. The home, owned by Graham and Jennifer Gardner, was damaged by a tornado that crossed Cherokee Road in September 2018. Trees and other debris punctured the roof, allowing access to water and creatures and causing black mold in the moss folds. A puddle of water forms in the room below every time it rains.

“We tried to find a way to save [the igloo] – to keep that landmark of Richmond – but there was no way to do it that would keep it true to form, ”says Jennifer, noting that when she and her husband bought the house in 2006, many have said they should remove the igloo. “Now everyone says we have to keep it! She laughs.

Built by Richmond sculptor and University of Richmond professor Demetrios Mavroudis 50 years ago, the igloo originally served as a workshop and gallery for his designs. The Gardners and their three children used the 1,200 square foot space for daily living and dining, music and entertainment, and parties (before the pandemic).

The new two-story structure, designed by architect Jennifer Radakovic and built by Mark Franko Custom Building, will preserve the original footprint and include additional offices upstairs. In a nod to history, the Gardners plan to preserve elements of Mavroudis creation: marble floors of federal buildings downtown, as well as a wall and tables from the campus of the UR.

“We are going to rebuild and reclaim the space, because we have to make our house livable,” says Jennifer, adding that those who need a little feast for the eyes will not be disappointed: “There will be surprises on the way. roof for people going to the other side of the bridge. “

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