The Modern Bucolic

A backcountry house gets the modern treatment with bold vistas and exceptional energy efficiency.

Architect Greg Wiedemann, who completed the project with his firm Wiedemann Architects, describes the house as “a modern interpretation of the traditional white clapboard farmhouse and red barn that populate the neighboring countryside.” In his take on the old standard, he proposed an exterior clad with high-performing, insulated glass.

The residence features windows and doors by Marvin, which maximize thermal protection and interior ventilation.

With its many broad windows, the house enjoys views of a rolling meadow and a lake, as well as a shared farmhouse and barn where co-housing residents can get together.

“It’s a bucolic rural community that enjoys the character of the Virginia country side,” Wiedemann says.

The architect designed the house to benefit from the sharp slope, allowing each of the two storeys access to the exterior.

“The front of the house has beautiful views of the meadow, whereas the back of the house has mountain views.”

The house’s tall, slender layout also worked in favor of energy efficiency, a key parameter in the project, says Wiedemann.

“The house has very thick exterior walls that are super insulated.” Wiedemann used materials intelligently, using Marvin’s selection of highly insulated glass French doors and windows.

Wiedemann has worked with Marvin products for over 30 years, and in this case, the company “Provided the best package in terms of cost, materials, hardware options and different operations,” he explains.

The architects were also able to maintain a traditional farmhouse material palette by utilizing two color options from Marvin Windows.

“Particularly, Marvin’s venting picture window afforded us the ability to have cross-ventilation and substantial size.” This effect is further amplified with a ventilation system built into a cupola that tops the house.

For the interior, Wiedemann opted for an open plan, with a flexible space on the lower level that can be transformed to fit multiple uses.

“The client wanted a house where she could age in place,” said Wiedemann.

Ultimately, the task for Wiedemann, as he puts it, was to “Design a modern home on sloped site, and still have it be connected to the natural views.” Rows of large windows and glass doors by Marvin, coupled with its open layout ensured that the house gets plenty of access to the landscape.