Located on farmland in McLean, Virginia, the American Farmhouse balances the expected comforts of a new home with the bucolic beauty of an old farmhouse. The final site plan still has evidence showing parallel courses of the barn’s destiny. The house mass is broken and lowered so that the home can remain secondary to the monolithic barn structure. Earthy and elemental materials are selected for the home that reference the barn without directly mimicking it. Wooden members found inside the barn and from other barns bridge ceilings and are used in floors along with rustic slate adding to a sense of simplicity to the farmhouse design.
The age and patina of the barn is reflected in the house’s textural use of board and batten and field stone layered similar to stone foundations. The original development plan was to demolish the existing barn and construct three suburban homes. Part of an endangered breed, as one of the few remaining barns in the area, it was originally viewed as a challenge in a luxury home construction with several difficulties posed to the impending project: it would be expensive to renovate, vulnerable to demolition, and threatened by urban sprawl. However, instead of trying to alter or destroy the barn, the structure was fully embraced into the traditional architecture project as a centerpiece and was used as the inspiration for the home. The new house was sited parallel to the barn so that views to the barn gable were accessible.
The new farmhouse house plans respect the existing barn both in its form and height, while natural materials were chosen to complement the existing feature. Interior materials are repurposed from the barn and others in the area to complete the palette. What could have been a suburban development became a preserved landscape with an adjacent home channeling farmhouse architecture that harmonizes and genuflects to it.
Architecture/Interior Architecture: Donald Lococo Architects
Interiors: Donald Lococo Architects/Owner
Landscape Architect: Jordan Honeyman Landscape Architecture
Structural Engineer: Robert Silman Associates
Contractor: Block Builders Group
Photographers: John Cole, Paul Warchol