borough of west chester, chester county, pennsylvania
Mayfield is a small (14 total units, including a carriage house and the mid-nineteenth century Mansion that bestows its name on the project) infill-type development community built on a remnant wooded estate property situated at the highest point within the limits of a southeastern Pennsylvania Borough. It is comprised of predominantly multi-family housing, save the aforementioned extant historic residence and a single family carriage house that incorporates parking for three cars,which includes a two-car garage (for the main house). The project was designed with a dominant contextual obligation to the eclectic Georgian and Neo-classical mid-nineteenth 19th century Mansion which it surrounds and the estate landscape with which it coexists. Consequently, the aesthetic of the two and four-unit buildings, similar to the style of the Mansion at the center of the site, deployed a simple architectural expression, characterized by a combination of peaked and flat roof building forms. As a former estate property, the new construction was “ghosted” onto the land in tight-fitting configurations to permit the mature estate plantings to dominate the landscape experience. Thus, given a concept to have the new construction comprise a relatively invisible component of the visual environment, a simple contemporary expression was most viable.
Although built within the limits of a predominantly multi-family housing community, this single-family unit owes an equal contextual obligation to the eclectic Georgian and Neo-classical mid-nineteenth 19th century Mansion to which it is adjacent and functionally accessory, serving, in part, as its vehicular garage. (The lower level comprises a two-car garage for the Mansion and a one-car garage and entrance and stair for the carriage house, itself. The second level defines a two bedroom, two bath residence. Consequently, deemed a “carriage house”, its aesthetic, like the mansion and other newly-constructed residences on the site, deployed a simple contemporary aesthetic characterized by a combination of peaked and flat roof building forms. Like its contemporary residential companions, as the new components of a former estate property, the architecture of this building also wanted to be conceptually “ghosted” onto the land in a tight-fitting configuration to permit the mature estate plantings to dominate the landscape experience. Thus, as a desirably invisible component of the built environment, a simple contemporary aesthetic was viable for its outward expression.