Rural Retreat – Home & Design Magazine

Muse | Kirwan Architects marries a classic farmhouse with modern, minimalist outbuildings on an expansive property close to Charlottesville

Within the late Eighties, an Annapolis school professor with deep Virginia roots purchased 40 acres and a hilltop dwelling exterior Charlottesville. For almost three many years, he and his spouse handed summers and holidays in that 2,000-square-foot farmhouse overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains and foothills, welcoming their grownup progeny and grandchildren.

Seven years in the past, the widowed educational, now 87, gave the property to his son and daughter-in-law. They sought to protect and increase the home, making a compound the place life appeared slower and gentler and the household—and visiting buddies of all ages—may collect collectively or spend time alone.

They enlisted Stephen Muse, principal of Muse | Kirwan Architects, and undertaking architect Kuk-Ja Kim—who each designed a starkly contemporized addition behind the couple’s Tudor-style Washington dwelling—to rehab the two-story, Nineties abode and conceive a number of modernist outbuildings shut by.

The architects stored the farmhouse rework easy, including 375 sq. ft to the present construction. “I needed to offer them solely the house they wanted, nothing extra,” recounts Muse. “There was already a lounge addition on one facet of the home. It could have been seductive to place an identical addition on the opposite facet—nevertheless it’s a farmhouse, not a manor. It didn’t want symmetry.”

It did, nonetheless, want plenty of work: basis restore and a brand new roof; electrical, heating, plumbing and cooling techniques; and new doorways, home windows, porches and paint. However first on the agenda: a three-bay storage the place the household may retailer their possessions throughout the 10-month renovation. Muse and Kim additionally conceived a decidedly modern visitor cottage shut by, which spills out to a brand new pool.

Geoff Pitts of Ace Contracting in Charlottesville dealt with the undertaking and recollects his “disgruntled” employees rooting for a farmhouse teardown in order that they wouldn’t need to cope with the deteriorating stone basis, mud-floored cellar and tight crawl areas. By undertaking’s finish, nonetheless, the Ace crew proudly marveled at what they’d created. “The undertaking was preferrred,” Pitts says, “as a result of we acquired to convey an historic home again to life whereas additionally constructing a recent storage and visitor cottage.”

Certainly, there was a lot to protect. Authentic pine flooring and stairs have been refinished. The library to the left of the doorway, a favourite of the professor, acquired new customized cabinetry and bookshelves. The wood-burning fireplaces in each rooms have been refurbished.

The largest adjustments have been to the rear of the home. A wall on the far finish of the eating room was changed by pocket doorways that open the view from the entrance entry to the again porch and past. The kitchen was prolonged by 10 ft within the rear. The precise wall bump-out, measuring 12 ft lengthy and 30 inches vast, homes new cupboards beneath the stovetop, sink and dishwasher and ceiling-height home windows above. A seating and storage island anchors the room, whereas the brand new L-shaped porch supplies one other alluring gathering house. Instantly over the kitchen, the bigger, up to date major suite options added home windows and a modern new rest room. The youngsters, now youngsters, sleep down the corridor in a pair of reconfigured en-suite bedrooms.

Inside designer Kim Caplan says her longtime purchasers, each attorneys, had a transparent mandate: It’s a rustic dwelling, and so they needed it to be relaxed. “I attempted to include the antiques they agreed on with out making the home a museum,” she notes. The household room, a stone-floored addition relationship again many years, was furnished for consolation. Pale, impartial partitions play up the altering gentle and panorama.

Muse and Kim took inspiration from each the farmhouse and native vernacular supplies of their conception of the property’s stained-cedar outbuildings, with their gabled steel roofs and clear inside and exterior traces. The spouse calls the single-story visitor cottage “fabulous,” explaining that “we needed all of it on one stage for mobility causes.”

The cottage would have been too massive as a part of the primary home, says Muse, so it grew to become a separate, two-volume construction, “one for the bedrooms and one for the lounge—with a connecting hyphen that incorporates the kitchenette, laundry and storage.” Lowering the constructing’s general scale, he provides, gave it “a greater relationship with the adjoining pool pavilion,” a diminutive third construction simply steps from the minimalist pool.

The storage now boasts stairs resulting in a recreation loft for enjoying ping-pong and darts. And almost hidden down a steep slope is the most recent constructing, completed in 2020: a tractor shed and workshop the place the husband likes to tinker.

The household spent many pandemic months in Virginia, working and studying remotely in addition to climbing, biking, gardening, studying and watching films. An outside hearth with a tall chimney was constructed behind the shed and shortly grew to become a favourite hangout.

What did the household patriarch suppose when he first visited? “I used to be impressed. I believed they did a fabulous job,” he says. As for his cherished library, “It’s just about unchanged aside from a brand new look.”

Or as Kim observes, “you construct buildings, and also you construct reminiscences.”

Q&A with architect Stephen Muse

How do you meld completely different types in an older dwelling?
As a result of few properties are tied to aspecific fashion, we seldom deal with that when designing renovations. After analyzing each function of the present dwelling, we prolong and have a good time what is sweet, mitigate issues and maximize web site potential so it seems as if it may have at all times been there.

What’s a standard reworking mistake?
We frequently see designs specializing in the undertaking’s new structure somewhat than your entire dwelling, which can lead to a product that’s not totally built-in. Additions ought to solely be thought-about profitable if your entire home is vastly improved.

What are the benefits of a multi-structure web site?
A multi-structured compound permits extra prospects. A complete web site plan locates and organizes the primary home and all outbuildings inside a collection of gardens and terraces. This strategy yields a smaller, extra energy-efficient important home, with secondary buildings for visitor rooms, artist studios and residential workplaces.

Renovation Structure: Stephen Muse, FAIA, principal; Kuk-Ja Kim, AIA, LEED AP, undertaking architect, Muse | Kirwan Architects, Bethesda, Maryland. Inside Design: Kim Caplan, KC Inside Design, Sarasota, Florida. Renovation Contractor: Geoff Pitts, Ace Contracting, Charlottesville, Virginia. Panorama Design: Anna Boeschenstein, PLA, ASLA, Grounded Panorama Structure & Design, Charlottesville, Virginia.

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