The last time I wrote about the exterior of this beautiful house the hatches were battening down for Hurricane Irene. Now the move-in date is fast approaching: the exterior finishes and windows and doors are installed. Very soon the driveway and surrounding landscaping will also be completed.
Shingle-style homes generally have a basic exterior and are constructed with simple materials. Wade Johnson, the architect, provided greater contrast by devising a variety of shapes with windows and bays, creating a more dramatic and sculptural exterior. This play of positive and negative spaces on the façade sets it apart from traditional shingle-style homes. Additionally the plan itself is asymmetrical, unlike most traditional Georgian or Colonial styles, yet there’s a distinct sense of balance in both the external proportions and the overall layout of the rooms within the house.
Among the architectural details I particularly like is the 5’ central gable over the bay window above the main entry; typically overhangs are only about 8” in depth. That extra dimension amplifies the contrasts between projecting and receding planes on the facade.
Another customized detail that I like is the set of curved, three-dimensional wood brackets on the stone columns at the main entry. The architectural detailing of similar brackets above the windows provide depth and volume while visually framing the spaces.
A further example of projecting and receding spaces is the gracefully projecting box window to the left of the house on the second floor; it corresponds to the area inside the Master Bathroom where there’s a free standing tub. External details often directly relate to the practical uses of the interior spaces.
Of note is the “apron” detailing where shingles on all sides of the house swoop out to meet the stone at its base; it is another special touch that brings cohesion to the overall look of the exterior. In a previous post, Updates from the Site, I included a photo of Keith Kieltyka, the general contractor, demonstrating a sample of this detail.
As I mentioned, shingle-style homes are often constructed with simple materials; however, this one is set apart by the selective use of high end materials: for example, the copper gutters and leaders are lead coated giving them an aged patina seldom seen in homes built today.
With each developing phase of constructing this unique and beautiful home, let us not forget its stunning and pristine location. Perched above surrounding vistas of calming water one imagines they are surveying their little fiefdom and enjoying quiet views such as this one at the base of the dock.