gladwyne, montgomery county, pennsylvania
additions and renovations
This former gardener’s cottage, part of the estate/farm once known as “Red Rose”, began as a master site planning project within the context of adding a swimming pool and garage to the existing stone building. Initial work achieved these aims, and connected the garage to the house by a covered walkway that also served as part of the landscape structures that privatized and defined the area for the pool. Over the years, the house has grown and been modified to execute the full master plan, inclusive of a fountain garden within the enclosing remnant foundation walls of the former greenhouse at the eastern end of the cottage. Beyond these initial modifications, our responsibilities—within the context of the performance of all architectural, site and landscape design, documentation and construction administration—have gone beyond the original master plan to reconfigure and enlarge the Kitchen, produce a Den/Family/Sun Room, Master Bedroom/Bathroom Suite (with exercise loft), a contemporary upstairs Bathroom, and a one bedroom “Nanny’s Cottage”/related-family member apartment unit adjacent and behind the garage, which served to further privatize the rear yard and pool.
Our responsibilities, within the context of the placement and design of numerous architectural additions and modifications to the existing house and property over the years, included all detailed site and landscape/hardscape design within the context of providing a swimming pool, garage and overall landscape plan to complement the existing stone building and desired building additions and modifications. Fencing that was both visible and invisibly incorporated in hedge plantings and existing woodland edges and hedgerows provided the code-requisite enclosure of the swimming pool. A reflecting pool and fountain garden within the enclosing remnant foundation walls of the former greenhouse on the east end of the house provided a place of solitude, and sonic and visually focal element that could be seen and heard through an atrium door that was carved into a stone wall at the eastern end of the formal Living Room. Adjacent to the pool, a former linear stone “hotbed” structure provided a defining spatial element and planter for a perennial garden that could be enjoyed from within and without the back of the house. Thus, a combination of existing natural conditions and tightly structured architectural and landscape components transformed the property into a suburban safe haven.
Efforts with regard to interior design at the Brynlawn Residence involved the reconfiguration and enlargement of the Kitchen, production of a Den/Family/Sun Room, Master Bedroom/Bathroom Suite (with exercise loft), a contemporary upstairs Bathroom, and a one bedroom “Nanny’s Cottage”/related-family member apartment unit adjacent and behind the garage. In all cases, the overriding concept driving the design was a desire to overcome the closed and relatively dark nature of the existing stone cottage, characterized by a limited number of relatively small “punched” openings, and effect a visual dialogue between the interior and the exterior of the house. This is expressed in the most pronounced fashion at the Den/Family/Sun Room addition and the Exercise Loft at the Master Bedroom Suite. In addition, at a limited alteration of the formal Living Room to add a glass and wood three-part French door at an existing completely stone east-facing exterior wall, much-needed light was invited into the interior and a view was produced of a newly-created courtyard fountain. In the case of the former two rooms, wood and glass large specialty windows and a door were deployed to afford views of the rear yard and pool area and the additional recent architecture modifications and additions that had been constructed as part of the overall Master Plan. More specifically, in the case of the Den/Family/Sun Room addition, approximately one half of an existing exterior stone west-facing wall was removed and an existing fireplace reconfigured from an interior room position to effect a much larger sunlit open plan for this combined room configuration. In all, the experience from within became much more visually dynamic, open and bright in addressing a more contemporary lifestyle, while, nonetheless, respecting the unique historic character of the existing Arts and Crafts gardener’s cottage.