Modern U-shaped rural home with gabled roofs

Contemporary farmhouse by Robert M Gurney Architect with large living pavilion, gabled roofs, modern furnishings

Modern country home plan by Robert M Gurney angle, area, black and white, design, diagram, drawing, font, line, line art, product, product design, structure, text, white, white
Modern country home plan by Robert M Gurney Architect.

The architectural history of Albemarle County, Virginia stretches back over 200 years, and comprises stately homes in Charlottesville as well as plantation-style farms in the outlying rural areas.

This new home, deep in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, can be viewed as an abstracted farmhouse, rooted in the regional vernacular, but unquestionably modern.

Architect Robert M Gurney says that the relationship of the home to the landscape in which it is situated informed all aspects of the design.

"From the outside, it's all about how the simple form of the house relates to the rolling pasture on one side, and the woodland on the other. You can see right through, so there's an unbroken visual connection to the landscape.

Clapboard siding and a metal roof place this architecture, ceiling, daylighting, estate, home, house, interior design, living room, real estate, gray, brown
Clapboard siding and a metal roof place this new home comfortably 
within Virginia horse country; but minimalist volumes and expansive 
glazing offer a decidedly contemporary interpretation

"We oriented the house to the southwest, which means that sunlight comes into the main living pavilion any time of the year.

"Inside the house, the transparency especially in that main volume means you are visually engaged with the surrounding environment at all times."

The interior scheme further enhances this engagement.

Therese Baron Gurney says, "This is, first and foremost, a family home. My intention inside was to continue the easy-going design that Bob created on the exterior. The finishes and furnishings were selected with this in mind."

The master bathroom in this modern country house architecture, bathroom, home, house, interior design, real estate, room, window, gray
The master bathroom in this modern country house is partially comprised of a glass-walled extrusion. The orientation of the house ensures that this private space cannot be seen from the driveway. The design is by Robert M Gurney FAIA and Therese Baron Gurney ASID.

Inside the main volume, walnut kitchen cabinets on one end are echoed by the panels cladding the opposite wall. The space between is filled with comfortable furniture in simple lines and a warm, muted colour palette.

"As it is a holiday home, the interior elements must be versatile, yet very cohesive; that means things can be moved around and still look unified," she says.

The black stools at the kitchen island and chairs at the dining table can be placed wherever extra seating is required. Similarly, any of the tables and chairs can be moved onto the terrace for outdoor entertaining.

"All our projects start with the site," Gurney says. "Our houses facilitate a relationship between the occupants and the landscape. As much as this is a place where the family gathers and plays, it's also where they can simply and quietly enjoy the surrounding beauty."

Credit list

Robert M Gurney FAIA, Robert M Gurney Architect
Shelter Associates Ltd
D Anthony Beale LLC
Project architect
Claire L Andreas
Landscape architect
Kevin Campion, Campion Hruby Landscape Architects
Interior designer
Therese Baron Gurney ASID, Baron Gurney Interiors

Story by: Kathleen Kinney

06 Oct, 2013

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