When form follows function, lifestyle unfolds in perfect harmony with the surroundings. Stand in any room and it is almost as though every architectural line unravels from your position, firmly grounding you in the moment while extending your awareness toward the softness of the light and the beauty of nature beyond; defying the confines of the room.
In a recent HGTV Dream Home Blog article, Architect Paul Robert Rousselle explains, “There’s always going to be a notion of something lying beyond.” If this sounds like a journey, it is. Every room sets the stage for a true living experience. Indeed, Rousselle uses the words “living kitchen” when referring to this particular room. In the same article, he continues, “It transcends just eating and cooking. It’s a place of congregation and conversation… situated so that even the chef himself will have fantastic views.”
Some of my colleagues returned from a small tour, recently, with the sort of first impression that leaves a spark of astonishment in the eye and brightens the imagination. It is as though the spaciousness of design had somehow augmented their experience of light and color.
“From the Master Bedroom, you wake up to a direct view of the Chin,” exclaimed Xander Paumgarten. At 4,393 feet, this is Mount Mansfield’s and Vermont’s highest point. “What a beautiful property,” he adds. “But the highlight for me,” continues Xander “is the Ski Dorm. Eight bunks! Can you imagine? It must be awesome for all the kids and cousins to retreat to this room together at night and for the whole bunch of them to wake up there in the morning!”
Bidi Wheelwright pointed out what she calls “Lovely touches inside and out”. She admired the functionality and playfulness of “the bunk room”, as she called it, pointing out the convenience of the adjacent bathroom, stating, in her charming British accent, “With three shower stalls and as many wash basins, it is a veritable hotel bath… Phenomenal!” From the colorful touches to the fantastic Birch ceilings, Hemlock beams and Energy Star appliances, “Phenomenal!” she repeated, adding, “And you can step out right to the lift!”
“Functional, fun and truly in keeping with the environment”, concluded Pall Spera, with great exuberance. Pall took special notice of the use of local materials throughout the residence, which includes artwork by VT artists. “Brendan did a fantastic job, as usual”, added Pall. He was referring to Brendan O’Reilly, owner of Gristmill Builders, of Stowe. O’Reilly executed genuinely green projects throughout this region well before the term “green design” was in fashion.
The HGTV Dream Home presented several unique challenges to architect and builders alike. Building in Northern Vermont implies an acute awareness of ever changing terrain and weather conditions. Marrying aesthetic detail to circumstances is an art that requires flexibility, integrity and the ability to allow beauty to unfold without constraint.
Mission accomplished. Form, color and dynamism spill forth as enthusiastic skiers might emerge from the crest of a hill, effortlessly and on purpose.
Click HERE to visit the HGTV Dream Home 2011 Photo Gallery