The original structure on this site was a lovely, yet very small stone cottage. However, there was no way to add on to this diminutive, un-insulated structure and also meet the client’s desire for an energy efficient home with one level living for themselves and space for family to visit.
These clients had recently purchased a house one short block from the beach, but the existing home did little to fulfill their vision. Theirs was a small, older home that had been quickly overshadowed by newer neighboring properties. Happily for us, our client wished for a home not just designed for the square footage needed for a family gathering, but with detail, character and identity–both inside and out.
It took creativity and thoughtful planning to deliver this new home for a family on a lot that was previously an abandoned tennis court. Located in the Ruxton neighborhood of Baltimore County, the construction adheres to stringent set back covenants and also met the local design review board’s scrutiny.
Old farmhouses are added to over the course of many years, creating layers of architecture that give these houses their charm. This new home borrows from that tradition, combining several rectilinear volumes: a garage linked via a mudroom, the main wing of local stone, a perpendicular wing clad in white cedar siding and a screen porch with a shed roof. The red roofs and white siding are dictated by the vernacular barns of the area.
The rural area of Baltimore County where this lot is located was in danger of being overloaded with characterless McMansions. Instead, this client opted to build a new home that preserves the bucolic feel of the property. The plan broke the design into separate forms to create a smaller looking mass and a home more sympathetic to its setting and the existing, functional horse barn.
This project exemplifies balance. The design found a perfect synergy between today’s contemporary lifestyle (a large kitchen and family room and first floor master suite) and the “traditional Maryland home” requested by the client. The program was ambitious: construct a large main house, three-car garage, and a private two-bedroom guesthouse that could also function as a pool house and entertaining space.
Financial constraints did nothing to detract from the charm of this new home overlooking the Loch Raven Reservoir. To stay within the budget, the plan focused on what was most important to the client – a three-bedroom home that was contemporary with touches of farmhouse architecture. The new house was designed on a basic block footprint with a simple roofline and attached screen porch. Although the house is compact, the porches and vistas provide a sensation of expansiveness.