Unionville Residence

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Perched upon a knoll overlooking the Brandywine River, this new 3,200-square-foot residence quietly assumes its place among the rolling hills and bucolic pastures of Chester County, Pennsylvania, in Unionville. The design of the home references the colonial revival work of Philadelphia architect, R. Brognard Okie.

To create the impression that the home was built over time and in several pieces, the principle design feature of the house is the massing of its forms. The approach through the ten-acre site allows glimpses of the three-bay fieldstone house and its secondary “additions” as the gravel drive meanders up the hill. Although the siting takes full advantage of the panoramic vista and solar orientation offered by the property’s elevation, the house is comfortably nestled just below the top of the hill as to not overwhelm the landscape. A full axial view of the house and its varied rooflines is not accorded until the final turn of the drive.

While modest in size relative to similar houses in the area, the residence precisely accommodates the owner’s narrative and desire for a highly functional new house that appears old. The interior is logically organized for utility and to encourage natural movement from space to space. The wood-beamed kitchen faces east for morning light and boasts a thermal window. Notably, the house features four fireplaces, including one in the covered porch, as well as a geothermal heating and cooling system.

Period Architecture’s inspired design, respect for the landscape, and use of authentic materials—stone, wood, classic trim, and antique mantels—unites old and new in perfect harmony.

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