Forest Hill Residence

2020 Winner – Interior Architecture

Project Narrative

Avid gardeners and collectors, our clients, both designers, sought a house in which their collection of artifacts would feel as at-home as they did. Intuition led them to a colonial revival house and the untapped potential of its wooded parcel. Built in 1936, the house presented many features worth celebrating and preserving. However, the compartmentalized rooms of the first floor, which functioned previously as support spaces, were not amenable to family life and suffered from a shortage of natural light.

Seeking to re-connect with the site’s sloping topography, it was decided that the re-development of arrival and procession both across the site and through the house could be accomplished with an efficient addition and comprehensive renovation. The project hinged on the addition of an entry gallery with a large pyramidal skylight and French doors leading to the grounds beyond. Elsewhere, feature walls and trim were attentively designed, and exterior walls were freed of appliances and cabinetry to promote view and connection to new outdoor living terraces. Spaces are re-defined by custom screens and pivot doors that gradate from public to private – thoroughly of the 21st century, yet quietly integrated with the historicist room plan.

While the design ethos of the renovation honors and enhances the existing architecture, a sequence of subtle spatial moves provides new structure for the re-configured interior and exterior program, merging the two in a barrage of natural light. Highly complex “behind-the-scenes,” the thorough and rigorous restructuring of circulation allowe


Project Details