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Isle de France Townhouse

Barnes Vanze Architects, Inc.

Shared By



  • Anthony Barnes, FAIA, LEED AP / Ellen Hatton, AIA

Project Status



8,200 sq. feet


Design Awards

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Project Description

This formal house with French stylistic aspirations for a young family on a ridged site with a stand of mature hardwoods along its length references the architecture of town houses in and around Paris. The formal entry, with its vertical emphasis, is trimmed with Pennsylvania limestone up to the dormer. A green slate roof, wrought iron rails and limestone sills over natural stucco walls complete the exterior. The drama of the curved stair and entry reinforce a processional that moves visitors to a sunny gallery that connects the formal spaces up front with the family spaces all with deep park views. The gallery and living room's multiple French doors open onto a long stone terrace that unites the side garden with the house. The interior layout presents a clear separation between more formal and less-formal family spaces. The L-shaped plan, sited around existing mature trees, results in wings that are one-room deep offering a series of fresh, bright rooms on all floors. The second floor, accessed from the two story curved stair hall that mimics the curved exterior entry stair, contains the family’s private bedrooms. The rooms are clustered around a main hall, which culminates at the end with the master suite. The master bedroom sits within the trees, overlooking the lawn and park below. The master bedroom truly evokes the feeling of sleeping in a tree house, with expansive windows on all three exterior walls. The success of this home is evident through its clear circulation, defining the interior layout of formal and informal spaces. Large windows and doors carry natural light into the home, bringing focus to the interior detailing, while views of the surrounding landscape draw occupants outside. The home’s relationship to its site creates a wonderful indoor/outdoor experience, perfect for formal entertaining and intimate family life.
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