Project Description2003 CHDA
Custom Home More Than 3,000 Sq. Ft. / Merit Award
Once the question was, “How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm?” Today a more apt query might be, “How are we gonna get back there?” For hassled, frazzled urbanites, the open spaces and quiet of the agrarian life hold a powerful allure—at least in a weekend retreat. This weekend home on 300 acres in the Virginia mountains is no farm, but it draws on the now romantic images of farmhouse and barn, archetypal forms that suggest a simpler, slower way of life. Here those forms are abstracted, broken down, and assembled in a kind of collage that adds a knowing urban twist.
Stretched out in a linear footprint that maximizes views of the surrounding countryside, the structure is organized as if it were assembled of smaller, separate buildings. Interior functions are expressed in the building shell as semi-discrete elements, delineated by changes in color, roof form, and siding material. Deep recesses in the building's perimeter create outdoor sitting areas, including a two-story covered porch whose timber-framed roof and red board-and-batten siding suggest a barn somehow turned inside out.
Blue-collar materials—concrete block masonry, grey stucco walls, more red board-and-batten—wrap into the interior of the house, where they harmonize well with the more refined maple floors and stainless steel railings. “The nice thing about this project,” one judge observed, “is the consistency between interior and exterior.”