Previous renovations to an earlier house elsewhere never suited this family, so they wanted to start fresh. They sought a new house on a larger lot—four acres, in this case—that would accommodate their three children, their large extended family (up to 20 each Sunday), and their frequent philanthropic entertaining, with parties hosting anywhere from 200 to 2,000.
We thought a European manor house would fulfill their wishes, but to make sure they got it right this time, we wrote an extremely focused plan with a careful, cost-effective approach. The plan included room sizes and budgets before we drew the first sketch—a guide that kept the design within 5 percent of the targeted size and budget.
The house comprises three radiating wings anchored by an entry tower—two wings encompass the living spaces, while the garage wing fronts a private motor court. Both living wings radiate from the entry tower, and capture the sun and sweeping garden views all day. The eastern wing houses informal family living and service spaces, while the western wings is reserved for more formal, public spaces. Bedrooms span both wings on the second level, which all have bright, pleasing garden views.
The massing reflects the style of northern European manor houses, with repetitive dormers, a hipped roof, wrought iron balconies and railings, and a solid, central tower. That style is reinforced with thick interior and exterior walls in addition to stone, wrought iron and Venetian plaster detailing throughout.
Lush landscaping around the property’s perimeter ensures privacy, while terraces and gardens closer to the house include covered porches, a fountain, the pool, and a guesthouse that doubles as a pool cabana.