As the popular 1960's Baltimore brewed beer "Natty Boh" claimed, the Chesapeake Bay is "The Land of Pleasant Living". Our client certainly thought as much. The couple are both D.C. District Court Judges. After a lifetime of practicing law they chose to leave their Capital Hill townhome and retire to Dorchester County, MD. They settled on a property comprised of several acres fronting on Lacompte Creek off the Choptank River. It included an existing 1,800 SF house, pool, pier and improved rip-rap shoreline. The existing structure, nestled amongst existing mature tree stands, optimized views, solar orientation and prevailing wind direction. The client, requested the new house be both prudent, simple in form and modest in size. Unaware, our client was requesting the classical Vitruvian virtues of "commodity, firmness, and delight"! The new house would remain a 1-story structure. Since the original house was similar in size to the new build, good value was to be had in utilizing the original structure. It was cost-effective, reduced energy, preserved trees, minimized land disturbance and minimized environmental impact.
The new home modestly expands the original by 700 SF. The new interior layout is comprised of 3 wings. The center is an open-plan living space with 12 ft. high ceilings. Bedrooms are in the East wing and service/utility spaces in the West wing. The original roof was removed and the walls were raised to allow 9 ft. ceiling heights throughout. Due to the high water table the existing crawl space was preserved and new flood vents installed. A conditioned attic provides needed space for utilities and storage.
The new roof forms a distinctive overall profile. The entry elevation is a symmetrical form. Twin chimney gables flank each end of the courtyard entrance. The waterfront elevation, though not symmetrical, is balanced. Two similar gables mark opposite ends and twin chimneys bookend the center wing.