2014 Architectural Design Winner: Private Residence, Rural New Hampshire
Architect: Dennis Mires, PA, The Architects in Manchester
On a property that had been in the client’s family for more than seventy years, architect Dennis Mires designed a new and larger main house, connector and barn in a traditional New England manner. Judges said this project has a “strong geometric presence and was consistently executed.”
In order to minimize the footprint and maximize the views, the main house was conceived as a stone villa—a “cube” of nine boxes, three on each side and three stories tall. The first floor provides an entry hall, studio and staff suite. The second floor is kitchen/living/dining room. The third floor has a master suite and guest suite. The “barn” has garage and studio space on the first floor, and two guest suites above. The connector provides a vestibule on the first floor and a shared study area on the second. An elevator helps ensure that multiple generations will have access to the whole house.
Due to the client’s history of using the property and managing the grounds, no trees could be cut or stone walls altered.
Among the home’s sustainable features is its high-performance envelope with exterior foam insulation over fully insulated, wood-framed walls and roof. The full, thick stone veneer was quarried within 250 miles. Standing seam metal roofs contain 75 percent recycled content. Aluminum-clad, wood windows use low-E tinted insulated glass. Heat is provided by a high-efficiency propane-fired radiant-floor system. Daylighting is maximized with strategic openings and a large skylight over the stair. Parking is provided in front of the garage, and the circular drive allows drop off and turnaround without affecting the greater landscape.