A Forest of Wood in Northern Virginia
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The architect has the delicate job of negotiating the elements: how to bring light and air in—and keep the wind, rain, and snow at bay. Mark McInturff brokered the deal creatively on behalf of a D.C. power couple. McInturff, who heads the Maryland-based firm McInturff Architects (a member of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory), knew his clients were aficionados of Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as traditional Japanese architecture. In particular, they liked Japanese timber farmhouses, or minka . The resulting design evolved around the use of rustic materials (stone, wood, raw stucco). "It's organized around a pinwheel of four stone walls, each reaching out into the landscape in a different direction," says McInturff. "The top level has a timber frame; the center is a forest of wood that opens up into the light." Photography by Julia Heine. Above: The side porch shows how the materials come together: local stone for the walls, connected by a lintel of board-formed concrete, raw stucco and timber framing above. Above: The same materials continue through to the interior of the house. The living room is furnished with Le Corbusier Grand Confort Armchairs . Above: At the center of the house, the stone walls come together to form an atrium of sorts: the skylight above is actually a glass floor on the second level. Above: The kitchen's glass corner allows ample light into the space. Above: The main stairwell features an elegant wooden screen in cherry. Above: Going up the staircase, the skylight that runs along the roof is revealed; narrow operable windows just below (not visible) provide natural ventilation. On either side, rows of internal skylights let light into the second-floor bedrooms. Unlike typical quarters, these spaces receive light on both sides. Above: The terrace outside allows the couple to entertain in comfort. Above: An outdoor shower. Above: The home's steeply pitched roof is reminiscent of Japanese minka.