Sundial House

Keezletown, Virginia
This project page was created by community member Eugene Stoltzfus Architects

The site, with its south facing view across foothills to Massanutten Peak and the Blue Ridge mountains, drove our overall layout and organization for this modern country house. Selecting this site also served our goal of integrating contemporary active and passive solar systems into the design.

Inspired by the concept of two houses with a street between, we divided the functions into a “Day House”, with shared open space on the south side, a “Night House” with private rooms on the north side. The street became an “Atrium” serving both houses.

The Day House common space includes kitchen, dining room, living room, and the suspended Loft floating above the kitchen. With the full height south glass wall, the Day House is the heat generator that powers Sundial’s passive solar design.

The beauty of a south facing view is that a large glass wall there not only delivers the view but integrates passive solar heating into the overall design of the house.

The Night House is divided into bedrooms, bathrooms, office, and laundry. These private rooms are accessed through doors off the central atrium.

The Atrium is the 3D crossroads of the house: lengthwise it connects front door to back door, vertically it connects the three stories, and crosswise it connects the two houses, including the bridge from the Night House to the Loft. The Atrium skylight with its 4 inch disc, casts a shadow on the North House to tell time, inspiring the name Sundial House.

The active solar photovoltaic panels are optimized by the south orientation of the house and the pitch we gave to the house roofs. The canopy roof which shelters the south terrace is designed to shade the house in summer and allow the sun deep into the house in winter.

The passive solar system depends on the thermal mass in the concrete floor and the solid 12 inch masonry walls to store daytime heat in winter and nighttime coolness in summer. Without this concrete mass to draw the heat during the daytime, the house would overheat in winter.

Sundial House Facts
Location: Keezletown, Virginia

Square feet ground and second floor 3660

Square feet basement and garage 2340

Day House Interior

Photo Courtesy of Eugene Stoltzfus Architects

Sundial House

Photo Courtesy of Eugene Stoltzfus Architects

South Terrace

Photo Courtesy of Eugene Stoltzfus Architects


Photo Courtesy of Eugene Stoltzfus Architects

First Floor Plan

Photo Courtesy of Eugene Stoltzfus Architects

Second Floor Plan

Photo Courtesy of Eugene Stoltzfus Architects
Posted By
Eugene Stoltzfus Architects
Eugene Stoltzfus Architects focuses on 21st Century architecture and furniture. In residential architecture we seek to integrate the context, site, views, light and the natural world into each project. We typically employ active and passive solar energy seamlessly into the architecture. In commercial architecture we see our buildings as literally building the public spaces of our cities and towns. Our furniture relies on simple geometries and reflects the natural beauty and strengths inherent in the materials we use. We seek sustainability in the materials we use, whether bamboo, cork, steel or timber.
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