New Beginning – Familiar Place
Design | Build
4,100 +/- SF
When a couple approached us to design and build a new home on a woodland site next to a large pond it quickly became clear during our initial site walk that it was a special place. Following a meandering woods road that eventually became the driveway, we passed through groves of ancient pines, old fieldstone walls and a glade filled with giant ferns. Understanding that the husband had grown up on this property and spent his childhood exploring these same woods, we were excited to design a home that would reinforce this connection to place.
The house is composed of two gabled forms intersecting at 90 degrees with the stone chimney serving as the linchpin. A third, smaller gable, connected by a breezeway forms the garage. The custom color chosen for the stain on the cedar shingle siding and the dark shade of burnt umber for the trim echoes the bark of surrounding trees. We minimized the trim at the roof edges to reduce formality and highlight the simple triangular geometry of the gable roof forms. Deep overhangs and projected gable walls provide shadows for further emphasis.
The center of the home is the timber framed great room containing areas for both sitting and dining. A Douglas fir timber frame utilizing scissor trusses defines the space, providing height while maintaining a comfortable scale. Diagonal strut bracing provides lateral support and lends visual interest to the frame recalling the v-shaped trunks of twin pines in the forest outside. The ceiling is finished in natural pine sheathing. A wall of windows provides sweeping western views out to the woods and pond. The windows wrap the corners of the room blurring the boundary between inside and out. Glass doors by the corners provide access to decks at the north and south. A large stone fireplace and hearth anchors the south end of the room.
The front entry hall provides a first glimpse of the timber frame. Upon entry, the view across the great room to the woods and pond is framed by timbers. An overhead wedged scarf joint is centered on the front door. A sculpted accent wall crafted from Douglas fir conceals a large closet. The foot of the stair up to the second floor is visible to the left. A wood screen separates the staircase from the great room. Its open vertical slats recall the ribbed effect of the accent wall and integrate with the larger timber framing members. The screen provides a dynamic visual buffer between the stair and the great room that transitions from opaque to transparent depending on one’s perspective.
Architect: Peter Anderson, AIA
Photo credit: Jeff Roberts