This project is a new home in southern Maryland on the Potomac River located directly across from historic Mt. Vernon and surrounded by undisturbed Federal parkland. The challenge of the project was to design a home that took advantage of the unique waterfront site, while respecting the historic view shed. Our client wanted to enjoy the river view, while Mt. Vernon preferred to have the home merge with the natural landscape.
The L-shaped plan steps back from the river behind mature trees, while shaping an outdoor space that engages the sweep of the river. A view of Mt. Vernon is enjoyed on the approach to the home and most interior spaces. The design limits the amount of glazing facing the river to that of the original one-story home and screens the upper portion with a screened porch. Cedar shingles merge with the trees and native stone anchors the home to its unique site.
The design required compliance with Critical Area regulations and historic preservation approval, in consultation with Mt. Vernon. The National Park Service approved the planting of native trees, with the goal of maintaining the woodland character of the property. The design embraces a sustainable agenda including the donation of the dismantled former home for reuse and the use of recycled materials on the interior. The compact design efficiently addresses the program, while accommodating large family gatherings. A high-efficiency HVAC system, insulation, all LED lighting, natural ventilation, and insulated glazing create a highly energy efficient home.