Sunday, March 29, 2009

More on the theme of simplicity

I received Colonnade, the publication from the School of Architecture Foundation at my alma mater, the University of Virginia, over the weekend. I was taken by this gorgeous photo of a house designed by a fellow graduate, Jim Rounsevell (MArch '90). I hope he doesn't mind me presenting some of the photos of his Poplar Terraces project. Jim was named a winner in the 2008 Washingtonian Magazine Awards Competition for Residential Design. The project is a series of four houses carefully placed on a 1.64 acre plot of land in Falls Church, Virginia and his design approach has been praised for his "ability to deliver high quality while maintaining a relatively modest budget." Each four bedroom home is made of SIPs (structural insulated panels) which are highly energy efficient, and is afforded a connection to the landscape with innovative use of daylight and views. The site itself backs up to a preservation outlot with protected old-growth Tulip Poplars, and each house is set along walled terraces perpendicular to the street that provide privacy and shade. The work is simple and refined. I don't even mind the garage door being so prominent on the front facade because it's such an integral feature of the design. It looks just exactly as it belongs there- an anchor to the rest of the home. Every detail has been considered and the results are incredible. Well done, Jim!

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