This project is a new home in Maryland for two “empty nesters” who desired a modern home where they could age in place. The corner site in an established suburban neighborhood presented a challenge to address interior and exterior privacy. The clients requested first floor living, with a ground floor master suite and all the requisite spaces easily accessible. In addition the program included two guest rooms, to accommodate visits of their adult children, and independent access to space for the client’s current consulting business and future live-in accommodation for a caregiver.
The site strategy was to move the residence toward the southeast corner, with the main mass on the north side to provide privacy from the adjacent neighbor, the first floor master suite facing and second floor terrace overlooking a courtyard facing southwest. A cedar privacy fence that surrounds the courtyard extends the language of the residence. The house opens to the patio with large sliding doors that merge interior with exterior. The patio combines sections of pebbles and tinted concrete panels to echo the geometry of the residence. A tall hedge along the west property line shield the neighboring home and affords a view of the landscape from the main living spaces.
Along the more private north side, a discrete path leads to the entrance to the lower level which contains the client’s consulting business. A private entry to the office is important to protect her client’s privacy. The office suite is designed to be adaptable to a separate living unit for a future caregiver. The lower level office has views of a sunken Buddha garden, reflecting the client’s interest in Asian art and culture.
Deep overhanging eaves provide solar protection and operable windows afford cross ventilation to minimize HVAC use in the summer. Thick stucco masonry walls provide thermal mass and contrast with the lightness of the steel and upper glazing. Stained cedar siding on the two lower masses is extended by the privacy fence that surrounds the courtyard. The design embraces a sustainable agenda including the donation of the dismantled former home for reuse, a high-efficiency HVAC system, foam insulation, all LED lighting and insulated glazing to create a highly energy efficient home.
This home, more modest in scale, serves as a stark contrast to the oversized speculative houses in the neighborhood, and is an example of a home that can accommodate a client who wants to remain in their home in their later years.
Project team includes:
Contractor: McNamara Brothers
Custom Mill Work including Kitchen Cabinets: The Masters Woodshop