French Country Estate

Location: Williamsburg, VA

The clients requested a traditional three bedroom French Country style house for their spectacular nine-acre waterfront lot. They wanted a master bedroom, great room, dining room, kitchen, breakfast area, family room, and office on the main floor along with a screened porch, laundry room and three-car garage. They frequently entertain and wanted to showcase the river views and be able to accommodate large parties and social gatherings as well.

With commanding views across College Creek and Chesapeake Bay resource protection areas clearly mapped across the shoreline, siting this house was easy. To deliver the views, livability and functionality needed, the architect chose to break the house into four separate pods. Each pod maximizes the view from its particular location while dividing the house into distinct public, private and semi-private spaces. The end of each pod is defined by a dramatic fireplace while the glass galleries that connect the pods provide visitors with a glimpse of the spectacular views beyond. The great room, anchored by a central stone fireplace, rises to the cathedral ceiling and flows outward to the rear patio and river beyond.

From left to right, the first pod houses the master bedroom with office (private space), the middle pod includes the great room and dining room (public space), the next pod includes the kitchen/breakfast/family room and screened porch (semi-private space) and the fourth pod includes a three car garage with exercise studio and storage above.
The central axis of the front door and driveway was centered on a large beautiful birch tree which was saved through special care during construction. Exterior finishes include a cedar shake hip roof, white stucco walls, stone base and terra cotta chimney caps.