Vermont | 2018
Battenkill is located on a 120-acre, steep mountainous site which slopes through lowland forests and an open meadow down to the Battenkill River basin. The new home is sited where a preexisting, dilapidated structure was razed. The existing grade around the project location was raised above the newly revised flood plain.
The masterplan identified project site lines, arrival, solar orientation, a ground mounted solar array, and exterior rooms to capitalize on the potential of the site. The design reflects a balance of two rectangular gabled roof forms with a single-story connecter expressed through the two main masses. The planning of the house celebrates the three main features of the site: the Battenkill River, the open meadow, and the advancing forest (the Zen Den). The compositional concept creates dynamic relationships with the site features.
Battenkill embodies the region’s rich architectural vernacular language while also celebrating a contemporary vision for the present. Conceptually, the house reflects this juxtaposition of time visually through a color-change datum at the second-floor elevation. The traditional aspects of the design are reflected in the classic New England painted white upper band; clapboard siding, steeply pitched gable forms, exposed rafter tails, and standing seam metal roof with snow guards. The contemporary, minimally expressed, stained black ground floor is a quietly expressed plinth showcasing large window openings, creating exterior decks off the second floor, and visually connects to the variety of landscape experiences.
Integral to the design of the home, the clients’ lifelong art collection was essential to the program. Artwork was carefully curated throughout the home during the design process.
Battenkill is constructed with a thermally broken envelope, and is insulated with closed-cell polyurethane with R-60 roofs and R-40 walls. A geothermal heating and cooling system are offset with a 15kw ground mounted solar array. Meticulous air sealing detailing is reflected at all plate to foundation connections, window and door perimeters and all wall penetrations. Fresh air exchange is mechanically delivered through a whole house HRV system. Passive shading window slats are installed at first floor south windows and continued around the base as an architectural design feature.
Big Pine Builders, Inc.