Hillside Lake House

Location: Lake Holiday, Winchester, VA

The scope of work included the design and construction of a contemporary five- bedroom waterfront vacation home on an extremely steep 1/4 acre site with spectacular views of the lake and distant mountains. The site was very restrictive due to side and rear setbacks, lake flood easements and extreme grades. With a view towards aging in place, the clients requested the kitchen, dining room, family room, home office, laundry room, and master suite to be on the same level. For additional privacy, they also wanted the guestrooms to be located on separate levels and feature decks and lake access. With the promise of beautiful sunsets and stunning vistas, outdoor living space was also an important consideration and handicapped access to all levels of the house was also very important.

The three-level home is reached by a 16 foot long handicapped accessible ramp which gives direct access to the main living level of the home. The two lower levels of the home were designed for guests and entertaining. The outdoor deck space found on the main level was repeated for each for the lower levels, resulting in a generous three-story deck. To ensure complete access to the entire home, an elevator was installed.

Cathedral ceilings were used to create dramatic spaces and make way for additional windows and natural light. Throughout the home, all of the bedrooms and living areas take full advantage of the lake front views with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors in place of fixed windows. The retaining wall allows for natural light to flow into the front of the home creating a bright space with lots of light in the home. The stepped retaining walls with built-in walkways provide access to the lake from the driveway as well. Open light metal railings were used throughout the home to minimize any disruption of the views and virtually disappear at night.

The new floor plans function well. When their kids are not visiting, the clients can enjoy living on one level of the home and shut down the other areas. The three living levels fit the restrictive site and serve to enhance the privacy and usability when multiple guests are visiting. Each guest room and living space has exterior access to one of three decks and stairs to grade. When the front doors are open a guest sees completely through the home. The plan is simple with minimal walls and good traffic flow throughout the home. The kitchen has plenty of counter space for working and performing tasks with great lake views from the island. The exterior materials are low maintenance HardiePlank® siding and natural stone. Specialty lighting was used throughout the project for both general and task lighting and enhances the spaces architecturally.

The design of the new home is well balanced with symmetry inside and out. The front of the home is balanced by the centered entrance ramp and symmetrical peaks. The rear of the home is balanced vertically and horizontally with the decks and sliding doors creating a repetitive pattern and visual symmetry.