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Southeast corner of Alumni House
Existing Condition Before
Library area
Library area
Library area
Library area
Library area
Library area
Library area
Library area
Library area
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Project Description

This new home lies on the east side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, at an elevation of 1200 feet above sea level, or approximately 600 feet above the neighboring town of Washington, Virginia. The home sits on an acre of cleared land on the 27-acre property, which slopes sharply to the southwest.


Views from the site are extensive to the south extending as far as the eye can see across the plain below. To the west, north and east the site is sheltered by Marshall Mountain with intermittent views extending up and through the wooded slopes.


Intended for use as a second home, the program called for a two story new house of approximately 6,000 square feet, to contain three bedrooms, a two-story hall, a library, a kitchen and dining room, an elevator-serving basement, a one car garage and assorted service and storage rooms.


We have taken the leading shoulder of the hill to form an “L” which is the basic diagram of the house. The two stucco towers form the legs of the “L” sheltering the two-story living space and kitchen/dining room that overlook the view. The “L” appropriately is an incomplete form, a fragment; something is needed to complete it, which is, of course, the landscape that it embraces.


The house is strong as the center point, by becoming an organizing form for the woodland and gardens around it. The height enables the house to converse with the trees and with the mountain itself. The house is built on the shoulder of the hill with a firm foundation set down on the earth, visible in the stone wall of the basement, the surrounding field stone walls and the elevated lawn/terrace.


The home faces the view but also looks to the woods and mountain beyond, with the intervention of the hearth between the two. It is focused both outwardly to the distant horizon, and inwardly into the forest.

Location

Rappahannock County,
Virginia


Landscape Architect

Florence Everts and Associates


Photography

Maxwell MacKenzie


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