"The design evolved as a two-story house at the rear due to the slope of the site," says Fraerman. "We wanted to ensure there was a strong connection to the pool and the lawn, which are at a much lower level. The pool is placed to one side, rather than in the center of the landscape as it is covered throughout the winter, we didn't want to make it the main focus of the view from the living rooms. A basement playroom opens out to the pool area."
To provide a further connection between the house and the pool and lawn, the architect designed two symmetrical sets of stairs, which cascade down the slope either side of a formal boxwood garden. Both the symmetry and the gradual widening of the stairs as they step down the slope enhance a sense of formality.
The house itself has an axial symmetry, with a wing on either side of the central pavilion. Not surprisingly, the view is the key focus of all the interior spaces, beginning with the entrance.
"The front door opens to provide a view right through the house to the trees beyond," says Fraerman. "The entire house is very open, so there is a view from one living space to another. As well as providing a very contemporary living space, the open layout is designed to allow for easy entertaining."
Fraerman says the owners did not want to be rearranging the furniture for large family gatherings. Consequently, all the living areas are spacious. The furniture is also designed to provide flexibility a small card table in the formal living room can be easily joined to the dining table to make one large table.
Providing plenty of natural light was another priority. The circular family room, with its 18ft ceiling, has clerestory windows right around the space.
"As the rear of the house faces north, it was important to bring light in from the south-facing clerestory windows," says the architect. "However, the shape of this room means it does get early morning and late afternoon sunlight. The quality of the light also changes throughout the day."