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City Farmhouse

ONE 10 STUDIO Architects

Project Name

City Farmhouse


1032 East Maxwell Lane


Year Completed



  • General Contractor: Design Smith

Project Description


This international home owner had always dreamed of living in an iconic American Farmhouse.  The challenge was creating a potential four bedroom house on a compact city lot in a University town.  The resulting 3,300 square foot project has the street presence of an American Farmhouse, while the interior provides the feel of an urban city loft, providing the best of both worlds for this home owner.  The home’s clear definition of exterior forms, interior circulation and interplay of volumes and space make it a jewel of a residence on an urban-infill, small town lot.

The concept resulted in a simple gable; its farmhouse form is readily recognizable from the street.  To complete this farmhouse story, the double-gable side massing suggests that this was a later addition as often occurs in farm structures.  It was important to make this home a design “of its time” and to not recreate the past.  The “addition” mass is a subtle contemporary gesture. The building envelope is constructed entirely of SIPs (structurally insulated panels), making it exceptionally energy efficient. Besides the energy savings and added acoustic value from the SIPs, the entire building shell was erected and completed in four days.

The Owner, a master gardener, desired a direct visual connection to the backyard, gardens, garden shed and pergola as an integral component of the design.  The inside-outside concept incorporates a modern sculptural balcony and covered patio beneath as direct links from both floors to nature.  The home is entered from the street-facing front porch with an unexpected side-entry.  Once inside the home, you are greeted in the entry hall immediately exposing to view a three-story stairwell incorporating a glass wall running the entire height.  This first impression informs all visitors that this is not an old farmhouse. It was a deliberate juxtaposition to create a more contemporary and modern interior element as the unexpected design moment for this classic dwelling.  The experience of this new modern home whether inside or outside is the ideal place to enjoy the American dream.
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