Waterfront lots along private Lake Barcroft in Falls Church, Virginia are rare finds in the real estate market, so when this lot became available, the clients took the house as it was: a weathered symbol of the 1960s split-level.
Saving the bones of the front to back split-level, the architects sought to use this basic organization to an advantage: exploiting the street side / water side split personality of the residence, but acknowledging that the fun is in the modern connection of the two worlds. The landscaped street face of the house, containing the entry, office, garage and guest rooms, recalls the reserve and scale of the original house. The rear of the house, with the living and dining rooms, and master suite, explodes into the woods, opening views to the steep hill that plummets to the water below. The rear terrace, an outdoor room defined by the "L" of the house, leans out into the maples beyond. The master bedroom is the "tree house" of the new rear addition, pushing the expansion of the house vertically. But it's the visual and organizational connections between the split levels of the house and out to the landscapes beyond - opening up the spaces to one another, crossing the boundaries between front and back, inside and outside, above and below, that makes the whole out of the parts.