The owner loves the setting of her historic home at the edge of the woods along two merging creeks. The existing home, built in 1790, is located along an iconic scenic drive in rural Pennsylvania. Striking in its strength and clarity, from the street, the building offered little connection with the surrounding environment. From the street, the character of the original home and neighborhood is maintained. Additions and renovations were required to redefine the central space of the home to a light and airy open plan great room.
The homeowner’s favorite workspace before the improvements was the picnic table on her southern facing deck, underneath the trees and beside the convergence of the two creeks. The design projections replaced the tired sunroom and deck area into a four-season addition that maintained the qualities of light and views.
An open plan addition is bathed in sunlight and supports effortless transition to exterior patios, a pool, and gardens beyond. The new daylight filled kitchen and living areas have panoramic views of the surrounding forested site. The space is defined by a series of stone anchor walls and glazing between the walls to capture the best views. The solid walls, perpendicular to the original home, provide structural stability as well as privacy from the street.
The unique and fragile site was both a challenge and opportunity for the design. The existing sloped site allowed for breathtaking views of the trees and creek but limited the extent of any additions. The footprint of site disturbance was minimized from design thru construction to preserve the slopes of the site, natural stormwater pathways and tree roots and canopies. The uninterrupted views out to the valley surrounding the creek, bathed in natural daylight, allow the owner to feel present as a part of the landscape, history, and culture of this small historic Pennsylvania town.
2021 AIA Bucks County Award of Excellence
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