Overlooking Lake Wylie in South Carolina, this residence is defined by the owners’ active lifestyle and boundless energy. The clients’ two energetic young children and a pair of large dogs necessitate that the house provide the open spaces and play areas they need while also affording private moments for work and study.
Beyond programmatic requirements, our clients presented us with a particular aesthetic challenge. Not only were they strictly limited in the materials they could use in their home by the local Architectural Review Committee, but they had quite different tastes. While the husband loves all things contemporary, the wife’s tastes were more traditional in style. Rather than choosing one over the other, we were determined to combine traditional forms with contemporary methods and lines and kept this in mind as we worked through design. While the overall shape of the house fits with the style of the neighborhood, detailing and unique design features emphasize the contemporary lifestyle of our clients.
Our clients had also carefully considered how best to keep the whole family safe while being active. The site for the house is just across the street from Lake Wylie and while the clients wanted to maximize views of the lake, they also wanted to pull the house back from the street to maintain privacy in their busy neighborhood and to give the boys plenty of yard space prior to the street. However, they also wanted an enclosed area in which they could play basketball and ride bikes, as well as private backyard for swimming and entertaining.
To maximize both front and back yard space and to create separate areas for all planned activities, the house is designed to take advantage of the width of the site. Its horizontality also serves to establish and emphasize its presence on the site. The connection between the backyard, interior, front yard and Lake Wylie is created by a strong central axis. Delineated by two stone walls and a cantilevered roof, the see-through nature of this entryway also serves to bring a modern element to the traditional horizontal form.
In order to maintain a cozy and family-sized scale to this expansive house, it is separated into a number of smaller volumes that emphasize different living spaces. The horizontal length of the plan is interrupted by the cantilevered entryway and by the modernized porte-cochere that stretches across the driveway. Perpendicular to the long horizontal and separating the driveway, nearby neighbors, and the backyard is the two story boys’ wing which shapes the outdoor courtyard space for the family.
On the interior, the central axis divides the public and private spaces of the home. The right half contains the master suite, guest bedrooms, and a media room sure to make any avid sports fan jealous. The open floor plan living space to the left of the entry is designed to maximize family time. Games of chase, Thanksgiving gatherings, and dinner time for the family’s Great Dane and Mastiff have all been accounted for. Grounded by a stone fireplace and polished concrete floors, this expansive living space extends into the rear courtyard.
The primary outdoor space is anchored by a pool and spa that align with the central axis. Flanking the courtyard space is a wood-lined outdoor shower, a grilling bar and dining area, and a fire pit with adequate space for entertaining.
Ultimately, the elegance and simplicity of traditional forms is heightened by a contemporary mindset and a dedication to thoughtful and thorough programming to distinguish this modern home in Lake Wylie.
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