Dream Big – Centreville Estate (Pt. 1)
Ever had a dream that you have been working towards your whole life? I am sure the answer is yes! One of the greatest experiences is to help someone’s dream become a reality. That is the beauty of residential architecture! A little over five years ago, a client came to us with a dream. A dream to develop a Centreville estate that he has been envisioning for the last twenty-five years on 100 acres of pristine waterfront property he had just purchased on the eastern shore of Maryland. Fun fact: this client found Purple Cherry Architects because he moved into a house we previously designed for an old client! Small world!
This multi-structure estate started how many new projects do, from the ground up. So first, what were the buildings? Next, how were they positioned on the site to each other?
Let’s begin with the main house. Well, that clearly gets the best view! Because who wouldn’t want that expansive water view! Well, okay, maybe someone who would rather a mountain view, but you get the picture. And with that, the design began! In fact, the design of all seven buildings happened concurrently, making it even more fun. While there is a main house, pool house, guesthouse, garage, party barn, carriage house and sheep shelter (yes, you read right!), for this go-around, we are only touching on some fun key features in the main house!
Exterior Materials – Ever hear the expression “first impressions are everything”? Well, that bodes true for houses too! The proportion, texture and color should be carefully thought out as to not have one dominate over another. This house balances the beauty of James Hardie’s Artisan vertical and horizontal lap-siding with Cushwa handmade oversized brick to make a breathtaking house. But let us not forget the Intex millwork columns and railings, Boral trim, Loewen windows with Atlantic Premium shutters and yellow cedar shake roofs and copper accents!
Monochromatic Rooms – If you have never experienced a monochromatic room, I highly recommend it. And we do not mean an all-white monochromatic room, but a deep dark slate blue/gray. Maybe it has that one feature, say a limestone fireplace mantel from a manufacturer similar to Francois and Co. that stands out and is balanced by the Lyndon Heath custom cabinetry. This house gets two of those rooms!
Bar – The monochromatic rooms flank the billiards room that is just before the main bar in the house. This bar is a two-story space with custom Douglas fir trusses, lap siding, brick floor, timber frame and a secret staircase. The horizontal nickel gap boards, Douglas fir trusses, and shelf running high around the room all nod to a nautical feel. The millwork by Engrained Millwork and commercial appliances from EVI are all pieces that bring this room together. What’s also cool, if you are lucky enough to stay in the second floor main guest suite, is that there are interior windows that allow you to look into the bar and embrace all its beauty!
Wine Room – So, what’s with that secret staircase mentioned above? Well, you have to go back behind the bar to get to it. It will lead you down a narrow space into a twenty-by-forty Chicago-brick barreled-ceiling wine room. We could talk about this space for days. In fact, it seems to be everyone’s favorite place in the house. The first thing people want to do is go to the basement to see the wine room. Don’t believe me? Take a look at some of the construction photos because words truly cannot do this room justice. The frame work for the barrel is stunning as is the brick barrel itself! All that brick, and the brick barrel hallways in the basement, all were laid by one EXTREMELY talented mason with two helpers!
We could go on for hours and talk about all the fun little features of this house, but some things need to be left as a surprise! Plus, in the future, we need to talk about buildings two through seven! Something to think about in the meantime is astounding how many people have been employed by this project over the past five years, including GYC Builders, Champion Hruby Landscape Architects and Lane Engineering that helped to make it all the buildings work in harmony! That is pretty darn special. And, it is all thanks to one man (our client) to whom we will always be grateful! God bless him!
Written by Ashley Marshall, project manager at PCA