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The Site:
Located in Rappahannock County, Virginia, near Little Washington, the site has

sweeping views of the surrounding mountains - most notably the Blue Ridge Mountains in

the Shenandoah National Park. Other mountains are visible - especially if viewing is from

an elevated position. The Owners purchased the property primarily for its unobstructed

panoramas. The existing house, to them, needed many improvements.

The Economies:
After developing preliminary designs to fix the existing house and some cost analysis, the

Owners determined they would get more for less if they built a new residence in order to

meet their goals.

The Fire:
Instead of filling a landfill with construction debris, the Sperryville Volunteer Fire

department were offered the building as a donation to use as live training for the

firefighters. The fire happened on a weekend night with a number of Owner’s friends,

neighbors and fire fighters witnessing the spectacle.

The Project Solution:
The design of the new house takes cues from historic local structures (including slave

houses, barns, lookout tower and nearby Montpellier), the surrounding mountains, the

existing pool and the climate. Two rectangular forms, one floating perpendicularly and

overhanging the other on 3 sides - form a new 1,600 sf house. A carport is created on

the east side and a people-port is created on the west side. A slim modern veranda to

the south connects the two ports and transversely connects the kitchen to the pool. Both

ports and the veranda provide shade in the hot summer and cover during inclement


The most dramatic view is down the meadow towards the Hazel River and further to the
Blue Ridge Mountains with Skyline Drive. The view is obscured from the entry drive - and

is only revealed once inside the house or at the people-port.

A wood and steel rail single stringer stair (recalling the materials found on well-groomed

trials) ascends to diverse and elevated views of the surrounding mountains and terrain at

the second floor hall, sleeping areas, baths and den.

Simple, economical and sustainable concrete board lap siding clad the structure and
recall materials found on many of the historic structures of the region.