To satisfy the conflicting tastes of a husband and wife, New York-based architect Marica McKeel merged contemporary and traditional styles in this spacious South Carolina residence.
The Lake Wylie House is located in Lake Wylie, a small town in South Carolina. Designed for a family with an active lifestyle, the dwelling is situated on a triangular property with views of a lake across the street.
"The clients' two energetic young children and a pair of large dogs necessitate that the house provide the open spaces and play areas they need, while also affording private moments for work and study," said architect Marica McKeel, who founded her New York-based practice Studio MM in 2010.
While conceiving the home, the architect faced various challenges. Not only did the design have to pass muster with a local architectural review committee, but it also had to accommodate the clients' divergent tastes. The wife wanted a traditional-style home, while her husband preferred a more modern aesthetic.
"Rather than choosing one over the other, we were determined to combine traditional forms with contemporary methods and lines and kept this in mind as we worked through design," the architect explained.
Encompassing 7,380 square feet (685 square metres), the home consists of two intersecting bars topped with pitched roofs. The architect broke up the massing to create more intimate spaces.
"In order to maintain a cosy and family-sized scale to this expansive house, it is separated into a number of smaller volumes that emphasise different living spaces," the firm described.
To take advantage of the site's width, the low-slung front portion of the home is laid out in a horizontal fashion. In the rear, the residence is L-shaped in plan and wraps a courtyard and swimming pool.
Exterior walls are made of grey masonry, stucco and wood. Windows of varying sizes, including long clerestories, bring ample natural light into the dwelling.
The front door is marked by a large canopy and is lined with windows that provide clear views to the backyard. "Delineated by two stone walls and a cantilevered roof, the see-through nature of this entryway also serves to bring a modern element to the traditional horizontal form," the studio said.
A central axis divides public and private spaces in the horizontal bar. One side contains a master suite and guest bedrooms, while the other side encompasses the kitchen, dining area and living room.
"The open-plan living space to the left of the entry is designed to maximise family time," the architect said. "Games of chase, Thanksgiving gatherings and dinner time for the family's great dane and mastiff have all been accounted for."
The two-storey volume that sits perpendicular to the low bar contains sleeping quarters and a play area for the clients' two sons.
The architect used a restrained palette for the interior spaces, including grey brick, polished concrete floors and contemporary decor.
The family was afforded plenty of outdoor space for recreation and relaxation. The home features a sizeable lawn in the front and rear, in addition to the courtyard, which has an outdoor shower, grilling bar, dining area and fire pit.
"While the clients wanted to maximise views of the lake, they also wanted to pull the house back from the street to maintain privacy in their busy neighbourhood and to give the boys plenty of yard space," the architect said.
Other projects by Studio MM include Tinkerbox, a modern holiday dwelling embedded in a hillside in New York's Hudson Valley.
Photography is by Brad Feinknopf.
Architect: Marica McKeel
General contractor: Jones & Hedges Inc
Civil engineering consultant: Land Surveyors CSI
Landscape architect: John Ogburn, Enterra Design Group
Landscaping: Jesus Roman, Roca Scapes
Fencing: Jason Ashcroft, Southlands Fence
Turf: Matt McGee, East Coast Synthetic Turf LLC
Pool and patio design: Bobby Suarez, Bella Custom Pools
Audio, visual consultant: Rene Robaina, Home Technology Solutions
Window consultant: Mike Layne, Window and Door Showplace