We often say this house fits like a glove – to its lakeside site, to the adjacent trees, and to the homeowners’ lifestyle. The homeowners were already living in this location along a steep lake embankment in a suburban development, when they decided to tear down their existing house and build their forever-home. They desired a modern retreat in nature that took advantage of the lake views and preserved every one of the surrounding trees.
A Z-shaped plan allows for all of the trees on the property to be kept, and positions the interior living spaces to capture curated views and create zones specific to the owners’ lifestyle.
Volumetrically, the Z-shape is composed of two three story wings partially embedded into the hillside, with the foyer, stairs, and bridge located in the central connecting volume. Upon entering the home, the view of the lake is immediately revealed through a three-story window wall behind an open stair.
Views to the landscape were strategically framed, providing limited windows towards the neighborhood and expansive floor to ceiling windows towards the lake. Editing out particular views results in a perception of being alone in the landscape with the trees and the lake, even though the home is sited within a suburban sub-division.
Throughout the home, the material selections and palette further articulate this connection to nature. The warmth of wood is expressed on the exterior with the western red cedar siding. On the interior mahogany, copper, lava stone, walnut, soapstone, carbonized bamboo, and stainless steel create a natural palette of warmth and varying textures that evoke the surrounding site. Throughout the home, these materials are detailed in modern ways to create the cohesive, calming environment of the homeowners’ retreat.
The first floor plan consists of two wings separated by an entry foyer and stair. One wing houses the public spaces of the kitchen, dining room, living room, and porch, while the other contains the more private functions of the office/library, bathrom, and garage. The second floor plan is organized with primary bedroom suite on one half (with roof deck), and a guest suite on the other. The walk-out basement level contains a family room for movie-night, mechanical room, storage spaces, and a wood shop that supports the homeowner’s furniture-making.
The kitchen anchors the public wing with custom bamboo wall and cabinets with a specialized pot rack to store and display the homeowner’s collection.
The primary bathroom on the street side of this zone has wrap around high windows to bring in daylight and capture views of the tree canopy and sky, allowing the homeowners to experience the site in yet another way while maintaining privacy.
PROJECT: 4,100 SF Single-Family residence, new construction
DESIGN TEAM: Kristen Giannattasio + Tali Buchler
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: G.F. Rhode Construction
LIGHTING DESIGN: Light Insight
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Henry J. Bishop and Son
CIVIL ENGINEER: Schofield Brothers
MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Sun Engineering
ELECTRICAL AND PLUMBING ENGINEER: Johnson Engineering + Design, Inc
PHOTOGRAPHER: Carly Gillis Photography
Atelier et Alia
321 Walnut St #475
Newton, MA 02460
© 2022 Atelier et Alia
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