The functional requirements for this 8,000 sf house include the most public spaces: living, dining, kitchen, family room, media room; and also more private spaces: 4 bedrooms/bathrooms. Addition outdoor accommodations include: a screened porch, open terraces and a walled courtyard.
The empty nester owners wanted to provide space to welcome and accommodate their 4 grown children (and future grandchildren). The resulting square footage was large, but they desired a house that did not appear so big when viewed from the curb.
The site sloped upward from the residential street to a hilltop, then back downhill at the rear of the site. The architect took advantage of this topography to locate the secondary bedrooms on a lower level cut into the hill, opening to the back garden, not visible from the street. This configuration allowed the portion of the house visible from the street to appear smaller in scale. In contrast, at the private side of the site the large scale of the house is revealed as the site steps back down the hill. Where the owners agreed on this strategy, they had different preferences for the design aesthetic. One preferring a modern aesthetic, the other insisted on traditional gable roof forms. With the requirement for gabled roof forms, the architect kept the scale small by creating a “village” of five small gabled forms (referred to in conversation as “Monopoly houses”). Each gable is a single room, typically with corresponding vaulted ceilings. The composition of the overall house is an asymmetrical assemblage of symmetrical components. Of the five gables, the most public in function are the front two – living and dining room. As the more public, they are rendered more formally with cuts limestone cladding. Moving deeper into the site, the family room, master bedroom, and garage occupy the remaining three gables, which are clad more informally in wood siding.