Along the banks of the Potomac River near historic Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, a small cottage sat which had been expanded idiosyncratically by a previous owner over the course of twenty years. The resulting form and layout was convoluted and failed to capitalize on the dramatic views of the river. The renovation strategy strips away seemingly ad hoc elements which disrupted the overall continuity, paralyzing the plan, while adding back elements which complete recognizable geometries and clarify the house spatially. Essentially, the house becomes two linear A-frame pavilions joined by a flat roof which acts as a seam, or transition, between the existing house and the new living space. The existing A-frame, which originally covered the kitchen and utility space, is extended to cover the entry foyer (which includes the stair to the lower level) and a new master suite. The new living space is identified formally by the abstraction of the typical A-frame, simply by rotating the ridge, which results in dramatic expanses of glass typically closed down by the low eaves of traditional houses. The living space is bifurcated into two distinct rooms (a formal living room and family room) by a double sided fireplace, although both spaces are afforded views to the river. The family room opens onto a linear deck which runs parallel to the length of the house. The deck itself cascades down the slope of the site physically connecting the house to the river.
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