The Five Star HouseEdit profile
On a bucolic tree lined street that once was farmland, set back from the road, an existing dilapidated house was demolished to make way for a new home. The site though lush and level was challenging with respect to the size and complexity of the client’s program and its context within an established neighborhood. Wetlands restrictions and tree ordinances as well as building coverage, site development and setback constraints further added to the issues that needed to be addressed. In response to the site restrictions, the new home is designed as an assemblage of buildings; articulated yet connected to one another architecturally. The different volumes express the functionality of the elements within. By separating these volumes, the large program requested by the client was achieved, while the overall massing and scale of the home was kept to a manageable level. The resulting heights are lower than many of the neighboring houses. Inspired by many of the local barns and farming complexes of the region, natural materials such as indigenous fieldstone, barn siding and cedar shakes are implemented in a manner to enhance the identity of each structural form. This furthers the concept of a village of buildings as part of the whole. The house is comprised of two main axes’, which were derived from the site plan. This configuration on the site was also reviewed by a feng shui consultant and met very favorably. The main axis ties the building together with a two story stone wall that is expressed on the interior and exterior to create an interplay between the inside and outside. The ‘L’ shaped configuration of the plan helped define an ‘exterior room’ at the rear of the home, where the landscape then echoes the overall concept of the home. The unifying barn style structure contains the main living spaces of the home, while adjunct structures contain the elements of a ‘hotel at home’, hence the ‘five star’ designation. These amenities, indoor pool/spa area, indoor basketball/sports court, exercise area, guest suite and separate stone building for additional garage space reflect the owners’ lifestyle and passion for wellness, health and tranquility for themselves and their family. The interior was designed in a serene minimalist modern sensibility throughout, in keeping with a feeling of serenity. An interior gallery style axis along the expressed stone wall serves as a circulation spine creating the flow of spaces within. The implementation of various wood and stone textures softens up the modern flow of spaces. Cupolas and expressed stair elements, reminiscent of barns, add illumination to the interiors. ‘The Gym’ structure, partially recessed underground, benefits from added illumination via clerestory windows. A retractable roof and series of glass doors along with a flow of materials from interior to exterior, adds to the feeling an indoor/outdoor environment at the pool area.