August 11, 2018
This Glass House is filled with greatness.
At a mere 1800 square feet, it’s considered a small, efficient home. But don’t underestimate this one. Two key features inspired this new construction project.
My client has a very stressful profession and is one of the most zen people I have ever met. Having been to Japan several times, he was focused on designing a home that replicated the architecture with a modern twist.
True to Japanese architecture there is a 4 to 6 foot roof overhang around the structure and plenty of windows and doors; one can walk around the house with ease as well as simply hang out on the side to soak up the sun.
The siding is a combination of cement board on top of a water table to create a solid panel up to 60” and western red cedar clapboards up the rest of the wall. With western red cedar on the porch ceiling that is up-lit and mahogany decking that is down-lit as well as cedar columns, we created a natural balance between nature and modern living.
An avid gardener, he has several bonsai plants (in the hundreds) that will need to be housed. A week before pouring the foundation, it was decided to move the garage away from the house so that we could preserve the view of the house as approaching as well as add a greenhouse to the garage. The Japanese gardens will develop over a period of years complete with a pond of koi. Several focal points have been created from the interior house to create these gardens.
Light, light, light is the name of the game. My client has Seasonal Affective Disorder and in New England, this is a very real issue to address. While the lot is located in the woods of Newmarket, NH surrounded by conservation land, we still felt that it would be possible to get enough light into the home with exterior windows, doors, and skylights as well as interior windows.
Each window is carefully planned for as we watched the pattern of the sun throughout the winter. The second row of skylights on the south side of the house were added as we realized that the sun stayed higher in December than originally anticipated. Then, the interior windows on the structural wall were added in order to get light into the north side bedrooms.
How about a tour? The house has 14 foot cathedral ceilings throughout with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, living, dining, and kitchen with a large full basement. There is a structural wall straight down the middle that supports the roof and divides the spaces.
It was very important to capture privacy and light while designing this home with complete views out to the gardens. This project sang to me for I love nature and architecture and this is a balance of both.