"A walk through the woods"

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


A wooded 7.8 acre parcel located in Northern Virginia near the Potomac River is bordered by a National Wildlife Refuge and provides a setting for ''A Walk through the Woods", a place for a single family to live. As one enters the site, travels along the entrance road and moves through the house, stimulating and dynamic visual experi~ ences occur. Physically, the residence is a linear horizontal structure with a natural stepping of rooms in plan and elevation. Characteristic of the residence are extroverted experiences, contrasts between openness and closure, transitions from outside to inside, rooms well-lighted by daylight and rhythmic experiences as one travels from / common areas to personal areas along a path not unlike a path through the forest. The site, of rolling terrain bisected by small streams, encompasses a knoll from which the house evolved. The structure is compatible with nature on the outside and incorporates nature on the inside. At times the house and its surroundings almost become one.