Bridge House

Location: Clifton, VA

The existing three-bedroom home was originally constructed as a carriage house to serve a future estate and never intended to be a primary residence. Though full of charm, the small place lacked the space and functionality typically found in today’s homes. With a growing family and defined limitations, the long-time owners wanted to remodel and expand.

We were asked to design a new foyer, living room and master suite with adjacent study above grade and incorporate an exercise room and unfinished workspace in the basement. A constant consideration throughout the design process was to make sure all work seamlessly integrated with the original stone house. Equally challenging and important to the design was the home’s location at the bottom of a steep rural site. A large swale located directly adjacent to the existing residence acted as a natural watershed for a large portion of the property. To address and overcome this challenge, we designed the living room as a bridge, literally spanning the existing swale and joining the carriage house with the new master bedroom wing.

The final design incorporates a stone gatehouse with a copper standing-seam roof to act as the new foyer and features a cathedral ceiling with exposed beams. The adjacent living room bridges the carriage house with the new master bedroom wing and features the same cathedral ceiling and exposed beams found in the foyer. Abundant windows flood the space with light and the exposed stone and honey-colored hardwood floors create warmth.

Outside, the entire master bedroom wing is constructed with stone that is a near perfect match to the original carriage house. A new deck with direct access to the living room runs from the entry foyer gatehouse to the master bedroom wing and features a delicate stainless steel cable rail system that maximizes visibility. The existing motor court was utilized as the patio for the front entry foyer and special lighting was incorporated to accent the entire home.