Addition & Interior Reorganization of Existing House

Key concepts:
  • Connecting building to its surrounding landscape features
  • passive solar design
  • passive cooling
  • resilient design
  • topographic design
  • design in harmony with existing natural features
  • patterns and prevailing weather conditions
  • green roof

Private Residence/Office for Horse Farm, NJ

The clients were looking for a very “contemporary” building, with natural materials and textures, providing a simple, elegant setting for some key pieces in their antique furniture collection. Exterior materials are natural stone, glass and graphite colored siding to match the dark split rail fences throughout the farm.

  • The building was designed into the hillside, no site grading or tree removal is required. Because the main views are to the North-West Southern light is brought in from the arrival court and the central “solar eye” in the roof. The West shadow is softened by a terraced facade. The North shadow is minimized.
  • Bifacial solar awnings line the South and South-West sides. A partial green roof/vegetable garden is designed above the kitchen. The roof location protects the garden from deer and is accessible via a stone stair reaching over a stone arch, which frames a beautiful open view towards the equestrian rinks.
  • The kitchen opens up with a retractable glass wall to an indoor-outdoor bar. Solar panels cover the entire flat roof.The Building is designed to ventilate naturally.
  • Insulation is Cellulose.


Mixed Use The Kimberton Barn Kimberton, PA

  • This building includes three retail/restaurant/shop venues, as well as apartments above. Outdoor seating is designed around the perimeter (courtyard, porch) as well as on the second floor wine bar terrace with exterior access overlooking the village.
  • The entire Courtyard was designed to function as the village outdoor living room in warm weather. The building will be the “stage setting” for outdoor summer plays and concerts.
  • It serves as a village trailhead for the Schuylkill River Trail and trails to Philadelphia.
    To improve connection with the existing Historic Kimberton Inn, the parking and creek areas between the two structures have been re-designed. An illuminated cupola will render the building a landmark at night.
  • Wall and roof construction will conform to advanced LEED standard. Interior materials Include reclaimed timbers, Cellulose insulation, no VOC paints and others.
  • Because of the historic nature of the setting, a photovoltaic array will be pole mounted in a marsh just to the North. A Geothermal system is being considered.


Neighborhood Design: Kimberton Village Green

  • The object was the Creation of a pedestrian Village Green for Historic Kimberton, PA
  • Slowing traffic through self-enforcing design elements (narrowing of vision corridor through building, tree and planting area placement, paving patterns) was an immediate priority.
  • To that end, the current linear divide of the road was visually dissolved into a pedestrian circle, which re-connects North and South side of the village center.
  • We created layers of actual and perceived pedestrian protection from areas of moving traffic (safety “islands”). Pedestrian “Pods” were carved out for outdoor sitting areas/cafes and a courtyard was created as the community outdoor “living room”.
  • Various water features were strategically located to obscure road noise, cool the air and draw people in to linger and enjoy community outdoor life.
  • Several new small artisan Shoppes and some new parking serve to enliven the middle of the village.
  • A trail connection comes into the Green from the North, establishing the village as a “trail head” and connecting Kimberton to the Schuylkill River Trail, which leads to Philadelphia.


Private Nature Preserve, Kennet Square

This property is an annex to a 300 acre private arboretum & renders itself ideal for educational programs on watersheds, especially for young children. Several educational loop trails crossing four creeks on small foot bridges were designed. A self-sustaining meadow garden and mature woodland remnants show what can be done to attract insects and avifauna in a residential setting. The house is existing from the1950’s, but has been completely re-imagined with:

  • natural ventilation (new clerestory)
  • photovoltaic panels (new clerestory)
  • bifacial solar awnings
  • extensive green roof
  • open floor plan, day-lit
  • wood stoves, no AC
  • re-claimed wood & stone
  • super-insulated with cellulose
  • summer kitchen
  • permaculture garden


Solar Barn




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