Our clients requested a large house that would offer warm gathering spaces for extended family and friends, while also acting as a comfortably-scaled home when occupied only by a couple. The house nestles into the sensitive site, a steeply sloping woodland hillside, and breaks into wings that minimize the scale of the building and its impact in the landscape. The house’s main entrance lies along a woodland path that connects a number of small buildings on the property. By creating a grass courtyard within a natural forested landscape, we limited the demands of landscape maintenance--only the interior court is tended as a garden. Non-invasive, native plants, installed along the building’s perimeter, blend into the natural meadows and second growth forests that surround the house.
The house contains a variety of program elements, including squash court, indoor pool, sauna, bedrooms and the owners’ studies, as well as a large living room, the heart of the house; the extent and interplay of interior spaces cannot be perceived from the house’s exterior and is revealed only as people move through the building.