A Renaissance couple, passionate about modernist architecture, challenged us to work within that language on a rural and partially wooded site. The buildings were under renovation and the site held many possibilities.
The final design focused on visual alignment. The solution organized the landscape around a graceful driveway, a redefined woodland edge, a quintessential Vermont orchard, and generous decks—all created to display specific open views. The guesthouse is now connected to the main residence via a tapered set of granite and lawn steps. Using the classic technique of forced perspective, the geometries of the orchard and the related sculpting of the land adjust the visual distance between the two buildings. Through this design, the tension between what is seen and what is hidden is carefully choreographed. As you follow along the drive, the treeline opens to reveal distant views, and the buildings appear to rotate as you pass them. The deck conforms to the sight lines and views. Minimalist foundation plantings complement the architecture, and two varieties of grass installed in rigid geometrical beds, complete the entrance.