We haven’t been able to help falling into the practice of calling the rebuild at the original property house site the River House because it is its dominant feature, being just above the brook and infused with the sounds of running water. It is literally, however, 70 Chase Falls Road. Here are some original shots and a progression of shots that reveal the dramatic changes for this tear down and rebuild project.
The mission is to replace a 1960s mold-ridden, cheaply built contemporary with a light-filled, modern alpine post and beam farmhouse. The lines echo tradition, but the overhangs are deeper and the standing seam sheds the snow. The basic lines are there now. We don’t have a long to wait to see all those windows and doors in. Exterior deck finish and shingles come next and all this will be wrapped up in a matter of weeks. The exterior stone chimney on the east elevation to the right of the front porch isn’t starting until after Christmas, unfortunately. When we get that done, we will see the finished look.
The original house was a nasty little structure. It was cantilevered out over the brook bank and was absolutely unsound. The design also cast the walk out basement in dense shadow. The massive deck is now accessed from the east elevation allowing view and full light to permeate all three floors of this home. To take advantage of that, the brook-facing basement elevation is chock full by windows. This will make great office, recreation or guest space.
We can’t fully see the lines yet, but we now have a stabilized bank, an unobstructed view from the house and a deck that steps down, grounding it much better in the landscape. Don’t worry, for those who have walked the old deck, it still feels like a grown up tree fort. In fact, the whole house feels something like a very high-end tree fort.
Last but not least is the restoration of the brook itself. The ugly old concrete dam that was jamming up debris in storms and causing erosion is out and the natural falls and open flow of the brook are back in action to beautiful effect.
I know some don’t find it easy to imagine space and they have to see a finished product. I hope, though, this gives some clarity to the vision and the progress. While I do enjoy creating from nothing, how can you make something more beautiful when you replace raw nature with structure? The upside is only optimized, new housing. In this scenario, there is no downside. Everything you do enhances. Everything you touch can be better than you found it.