Bringing the Outdoors in Becomes a Reality for a Lakeside Retreat

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By Paige Alexus / Published by Dwell
When architect Greg Torchio first began conceptualizing a contemporary home project in Centreville, Maryland, he quickly realized how vital his selection of windows and doors would be to the final result.

Both Torchio and homeowner Bob Dahl agreed that for a weekend haven nestled on a partial bluff overlooking the Corsica River, it was essential to employ windows that would allow the alluring outdoors to be brought in. Because of the experience Marvin Windows and Doors has in working closely with architectural projects, Torchio decided to have them take the lead on outfitting the modern structure of the home.

Bringing the Outdoors in Becomes a Reality for a Lakeside Retreat - Photo 1 of 2 - At the top of homeowner Bob Dahl’s wish list was a shed roof, applications of industrial materials, and tons of glass. Courtesy

At the top of homeowner Bob Dahl’s wish list was a shed roof, applications of industrial materials, and tons of glass. Courtesy

During the design process, the project was appropriately dubbed Alvhem, meaning "river home" in Swedish—a fitting name for a nature immersed residence that reflects the homeowner’s family heritage. With a design made up of 45% glass, it was important to utilize windows that would be energy-efficient and fully customizable. Luckily, Marvin windows can be made-to-order to any project's exact specifications.

Bringing the Outdoors in Becomes a Reality for a Lakeside Retreat - Photo 2 of 2 - To complement the house’s timber frame and its extensive ceiling decking, the team chose to line the substantial window wall with a pine treatment that would give them the freedom to combine various size units. 

To complement the house’s timber frame and its extensive ceiling decking, the team chose to line the substantial window wall with a pine treatment that would give them the freedom to combine various size units. 

Since windows play such a vital role in defining the shape of a home, Torchio worked closely with the engineers at Marvin to find the perfect setup from their Contemporary Studio line that would keep the surrounding views from falling flat, while being hardy enough to endure inevitable harsh natural conditions. Keeping in mind the proximity to the Chesapeake Bay, he made sure to take into account the surrounding salty air and possible storm damage. Though Marvin offers superb warranties that protect against these concerns, he decided to fit each window with tempered glass, for an even higher level of security.

To get behind the scenes insight on how the installation of windows took center stage, take a look at this inspiring video led by the homeowner and architect themselves.