Double Low House

On a half-acre corner lot with the restrictive FAR and setbacks typical of the North shore, our clients requested a residence that primarily revolved around family relationships.  It was to comfortably co-exist in a community of “historic” structures both old and new while creating its own, uniquely informal persona.  The appearance of four garages on the front façade speaks to the traditional carriage house forecourt while the two-story foyer and axial fireplace reinforce the grand country house format. 

The site’s rear yard shared a remarkable vista across three neighboring yards and was the exposure to which all rooms aspired.   And so, on the first floor rooms march enfilade from the master suite through his study, the family room and kitchen to her study.  The open plan promotes family interaction with him, a busy corporate executive, and provides a private retreat for her, a community-active housewife.  

In the spirit of congeniality, the children are provided with an upstairs common room as well as a below stairs media center and exercise facility including his driving range.  Her separate garage serves as a discrete drop off for groceries and unruly puppies whose fenced dog run abuts the mud and flower facility.  Dubbed the double “Low” house the reverse gables shelter a plethora of rooms with the perception, especially frontally, of only a few.  Zoning FAR dictated for such a structure that second floor areas over 7 feet in height be less than 50% of the size of the first floor thereby necessitating some artful roof pitching.  Over 7,000 square feet on three floors settle gracefully and quietly into this small suburban lot granting all family members spaces in which to assemble as well as disassemble.