Failing to meet the needs of its inhabitants, a Virginia farmhouse received a much-needed revamping with the help of Reader & Swartz Architects. Originally built in the 1970s, the house wasn’t entirely a lost cause and the owners wanted to use as much of the existing house as possible in the renovation project. But the the house had mold problems, which led to respiratory issues suffered by its inhabitants. So, the new house had to address not only a need to reuse as much material as possible, but also reduce the negative impact it was making on the owners’ health.
The central core of the existing house, which housed the kitchen, service spaces, and children’s bedrooms, was retained for the new design. From here, new rooms were added, including an open living room which was connected to the kitchen and the outdoors. Another wing was added that included more private rooms, including the master suite, a yoga room, and a library.
Owners not only wanted to keep much of the existing structure, but wanted the entire home to make the best use of natural resources overall. Designers wanted to respect the owners’ earthy aesthetic and environmentally conscious philosophy by using cedar trunks the kitchen and yoga room, and cedar siding on the exterior. Other environmentally-friendly features include the use of high efficiency fixtures and fittings, high performance windows, efficient appliances, recycled gypsum wall boards, and a host of renewable products such as cork flooring, linoleum flooring, concrete counter tops, concrete flooring.