Gwynedd Valley, PA

HOUSE BUILT AROUND AN EXISTING GARDEN is part of the subdivision of a 1920s Stockbroker Baron's 70-acre country estate outside of Philadelphia. The estate consisted of a large manor house flanked in Palladian style by stables and garages. A short distance away was a formal garden with a symmetrical planting of boxwood, iris and peonies set within the stone foundation walls of a former bank barn. Included were bath houses and a swimming pool. At the time of the subdivision our clients purchased this complex of garden and architectural fragments.

Site model showing the existing garden, bath houses and swimming pool
embraced by the new house.

In the design of the new house we incorporated these elegant site elements to preserve them and to give cause and reason for the new design. We laid out the plan in an ell-shaped configuration so that the garden became part of the house with living spaces sheltered from the weather by a porch and a wall of glass. This creates the illusion of living in the midst of a large garden quietly textured with plantings selected for structure and color to yield an all seasons showing.

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