Set in a forest in Stony Point, north of Charlottesville, the house is a modern interpretation of a "dogtrot". The client wished to have a house with which to revel in the woods around them and enjoy the seasonal variations of the Virginia climate. The house is designed to wed their daily routines to their surroundings with a seamless flow between the indoors and outdoors.
The dogtrot acts as the space between the two. All the public areas, including the living, dining area and kitchen are housed together in the eastern wing of the house. On the ground level of the western wing are the studio office and master bedroom. On the lower level are three bedrooms that are partially embedded in the sloping hillside. The house was completed in 2010. The clients, a professor and a human rights activist, were searching for a place of calm in their busy lives. Removed from city noise, the wooded site offers a chance to enjoy the seasons, to breathe, and to think. Initially, the clients imagined a series of pavilions threaded through the woods and connected by covered walkways. As the project evolved, the architect developed a dogtrot house with a covered terrace between the public and private sides of the house. All the public areas, including the living, dining area and kitchen are housed together in the eastern wing of the house. On the ground level of the western wing are the studio office and master bedroom.
On the lower level are three bedrooms that are partially embedded in the sloping hillside. The north face of the house (approach side) is a battered, wood wall, and with its small windows, is mute, so as to enhance the unfolding of the experience of arrival and discovery. The wooded landscape is viewed through a large opening in the battered wall. The battered north wall merges into the roof and the generous overhang on the south shades the house from the summer sun. The clients sought a design that harmonized with the wooded landscape, allowing them to enjoy the seasonal variations of the Virginia climate. The architects created a place where outdoor living is as important as indoor, where the clients enjoy a kinship with landscape and wildlife. The clients spend much of their time in the courtyard, eating their meals outdoors from early spring to late fall. A series of low operable windows along the southern facáde and high windows on the northern wall provide a strong cross-ventilation throughout the house. A geo-thermal system heats the radiant floors on both levels, which further reduces the energy demand for the house. The Dogtrot was selected as one of the top Earthcraft homes in Virginia in 2010.
1. Poplar siding on north wall
2. Hardie panel siding
3. R-5 Superior Wall system for precast retaining walls
4. Feeney Cable Rails
5. Murus Structural Insulated Panels
6. Marvin Integriity Windows and Doors
7. KraftMaid Maibu Maple Cabinetry
8. Geothermal Heat Pump
9. Radiant Floor heating system