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Private Residence Northeastern Pennsylvania, 2013



2013 American Institute of Architects Northeastern Pennsylvania
Small Projects Award Winner
Jury Comments, Washington, DC Chapter of the AIA: 
"We can sense that the people in this house love and enjoy their home. The smart compact floor plan, combined with modest materials, succesfully compliments the building's context."

After residing in a loft studio for a number of years, our client, an accomplished artist, made a decision to build a new home and studio on land overlooking a small farming valley and a quiet lake.  The site is a sloped upland meadow that looks to the Endless Mountains - those Appalachian ridges that layer out towards the wild north-central part of Pennsylvania;  an almost dizzying view extends for 17 miles to the scenic northwest.

The home elevates a modest 1,200 sf of main living level up above a garage and an art studio on the ground floor. The artist’s studio is used as a teaching space, and it is accessible by students from a stone parking area by walking along a bluestone path beside the cord wood stack on the downslope side of the home. The main formal entrance to the home is a half-story up from parking, and it is approached via a gently terraced set of stone steps on the upslope side of the structure.

Exterior materials and interior treatments recall agrarian farm buildings which dot the landscape. Natural materials - which will acquire the character and patina of age - are deployed in a muted sage and clearcoat palette across patterned surfaces of horizontal, vertical, and board-and-batten siding; an occasional splash of soft primary color alludes to a painter’s presence.

The indoor environment is climatized by a high-efficiency geothermal heat pump system with capability to run three radiant-floor heating zones. Throughout, various natural and regional materials are used, including Pennsylvania bluestone landscape walls and steps, Vermont slate tile, American cherry and birch flooring, and Douglas fir interior columns and handrails – all of which work to develop a variety of sensory experiences to sight, touch, and sound.

This home incorporates lively and compact spaces for dwelling and working that offer delight and repose to its occupants and their visitors alike.