Leaning Timber House

Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
Builder
  • Norcini Builders
Photographer
  • Tom Crane Photography
Location
  • Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Type
  • Modern
  • Square Feet
  • 4200
  • Lot Size
  • 2.1 acres
  • Bedrooms
  • 3
  • Full Baths
  • 3
  • Partial Baths
  • 1
  • This contemporary, Arcadian-style residence was sited on a hilltop overlooking a 2.1 acre property. The house has a zen-like quiet and diminutive feel at the approach but is expansive toward the garden, which includes a terrace with a sunken spa and outdoor fireplace for outdoor living and entertaining,

    Exposed timber frames express structural lines of force while at the same time giving warmth to the house. The timber and stone lend themselves to an organic expression of the structure growing out of the contour of the ground. This natural expression is carried through to the interior.

    Public and private zones within the home are distinguished by a series of internal arcades. These function as the paths of horizontal and vertical circulation. Wide sliding glass doors, along with the glazing of corners and the full height of spaces, blur the distinction between inside and outside.

    The clients, a young couple from Germany, brought with them their national affinity for efficient building technologies and high quality details that will age gracefully over time, with minimal maintenance and energy consumption.

    The program for the house was to create a thermally efficient and functional design that would be easily expandable over time and expressive of its structure inside and out. The use of raw building materials and simple finishes was encouraged to create simple detail lines that are both contemporary and humane to the touch.

    The house was purposefully sited on the property to maximize energy efficiency. Deep roof overhangs provide natural shading, which is enhanced by the use of exterior solar shades. The Douglas fir timbers were sustainably managed, and all stone materials were locally procured. Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) were utilized to maximize the structural and thermal performance, as well as ease assembly of the roof.

    The Douglas fir timbers are held in place by knife-plate connections. Portions of the exterior are clad with fiber cement rainscreen panels with exposed fasteners. While this type of rainscreen system is typically used in commercial applications, it was utilized in this design as a first-line of defense from weather as well as to enhance the palette of the home by adding an additional layer of texture and visual interest.

    Archer & Buchanan Architecture uploaded Leaning Timber House through Add A Home.
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