Two sisters approached MSB Architects to expand the 1970’s brick rancher they bought as a residence for their retirement. The original house was 1,190 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 1 1/2 baths. Once expansion plans were discussed, it was soon realized that they desired two master suites, a more open floor plan, a guest room and mud room, which would require a major renovation to the existing home. Adding to the challenge, the house sits on a historic easement, facing the C&O Canal in Sharpsburg, Maryland, so there were restrictions in place.
The solution for the new home began with bringing the existing house down to its foundation, and increasing the home’s square footage to 2,400 square feet. Keeping with Craftsman design tenets for using natural materials, the new home is a mix of natural stone and wood materials for the exterior construction. They added a mud room, wider trim to windows and doors, and a stone foundation to pay homage to farmhouses typical to the area. The new house has a wide, covered porch, low pitched roof, and natural stone details in the columns and foundation. The wide windows capitalize on the outdoor views.
Since the sisters were consolidating their respective households, Raquel Orsini assisted with selections creating a single look for their interior.
Once a 19-room boarding house, the historic Patterson Building has been renovated to create Patterson Hall for the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown (USMH). This is the first student housing project in downtown Hagerstown and was created through a public/private partnership between a local developer, the City of Hagerstown, and USMH. The new residence hall is comprised of four-two bedroom apartments within walking distance of USMH. Each apartment has a full kitchen, living area, washer/dryer, and private bathrooms for each student. The renovation offered many challenges, as the existing floors were collapsing and all the framing needed reinforcement to meet current design standards.
A 12,000 square foot residence nestled in the woods of the rolling countryside of West Virginia. The placement of the house takes full advantage of the rolling landscape and mountainside views to the rear of the property. The entrance to the house has fewer windows than the rear to reinforce the view shed towards the mountains. Stone and wood where chosen for the exterior finishes in keeping with its natural environment.
The family room addition anchors the west end of the existing brick rancher, creating a corner outside courtyard. Large glass doors and windows on the east wall of the family room take advantage of the morning sun, and overlook the courtyard. The family room provides a half bath and laundry facilities, which existed in the basement prior to construction.
Sycamore Springs Farm posed a challenge in creating a modest addition to an historic stone farm house while maintaining the house’s character. The addition included expanding the family style kitchen, den, and master bedroom. Careful attention was given to the exterior finishes to ensure that they did match the existing house.
Good Spirits Farm was both an addition and renovation to an existing farmhouse that was once used as a hospital during the Civil War. With its renovated space and pool house addition, this home enjoys mountainside views in scenic Western Maryland. The wine cellar in the renovated basement provides cold storage for 1,000 bottles of wine in custom chilled cabinets, and storage for 1,000 more in the cabinets below.
Published: Wine Spectator Magazine E-mail Newsletter, 2008
Located in the countryside, this pool house for the private residence, named Cool Hollow, features heavy timber trusses and high clerestory windows. The interior fireplace connects to an exterior terrace fireplace overlooking the swimming pool. The patio was converted into a sunroom, maintaining the existing brick as the flooring of the new space.