ARTFUL SITE PLANNING
There are many things that your building site can tell us about how to plan your home. A well planned home takes into consideration not only function, image, views, where you will want privacy, and how the sunlight and the wind moves across the land, but sometimes a piece of property has a lot to tell us.
The history of this site and the lifestyle of the owners were interesting and informed the planning of this very artfully designed home. The clients’ children heading off to college were transforming them into empty nesters. They are also avid art collectors and their collection is ever evolving over time. These transforming factors in their life led to a home that was about layers of time.
The site’s history was shaped by both glacial furrows in the landscape where the firm soil remained and the soft soil created wetlands and a previous use of the land for an orchard. (Refer to the Site Planning Diagram.)
Taking into account the lifestyle and the site’s history, their home was shaped by creating three limestone “blocks” connected by a sinuous link of glass (refer to Planning Concept Diagram). The limestone blocks were the “ancient” parts of the home with traditional details like crown molding and traditional fireplace mantles. The glass portion of the home linking the limestone blocks is contemporary in style and represents the future. The components of the home are positioned based upon the history of the site, and the form of the house and materials are shaped by the lifestyle of the client (refer to the model photo). It has a sculptural shape and a museum like quality about it.
Overlaid on this planning was the movement of sunlight (see Sunlight Planning Diagram). While not every home is planned in this fashion, a good architect is one that is always listening to the client’s story and that of their site.