Three Chimney House

Three Chimney House

Architect
TW Ryan Architecture
Location
Charlottesville, Virginia, USA | View Map
Project Year
2020
Category
Private Houses
© Joe Fletcher
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
ControlsForbes & Lomax
FittingsVOLA
FittingsDuravit
Interior lightingLambert & Fils
FittingsTOTO
ManufacturersAllied Maker

Product Spec Sheet
Fittings
by VOLA
Fittings
by Duravit
Interior lighting
Fittings
by TOTO
Manufacturers
by Allied Maker

Three Chimney House

TW Ryan Architecture as Architects

Siting, Form & Function
The siting of Three Chimney House is derived from the specificities of the land. It sits at the edge of the woods, roughly in a north-south orientation but rotating each of the house’s main functions into separate wings that frame picturesque natural views from each room.

photo_credit © Joe Fletcher
© Joe Fletcher

The Main Hall—which contains the kitchen, dining room and living room—looks and opens up to wide, unobstructed views of the Shenandoah Mountains. The wood-clad Residential Wing is attached to the south side of the Main Hall via a hallway to create a threshold for entering the more private spaces of the house. Branching off the Main Hall to the north are an art studio and guest house.

photo_credit © Joe Fletcher
© Joe Fletcher

Design Principles
We wanted to create a house that is pure and primitive in form, defined by chimneys, walls and roofs. Derived from the specificities of the local context, the design principles for the house aim to be timeless, durable, self-evident. The end results required a close reading of local building traditions.

photo_credit © Joe Fletcher
© Joe Fletcher

Materials & Construction
Materials were selected for their long history of use in the area, longevity and ability to patina over time. The hope was that the construction success of the house would be measured against the nearby colonial forbearers rather than the modern houses under construction today.

photo_credit © Joe Fletcher
© Joe Fletcher

Chimneys
Derived from the great chimneys of Stratford Hall, not far from where both clients grew up in Virginia. The three great chimneys mark the house on the site. At 30 feet in height, they are visible from almost every vista of the 45-acre site, serving as a point of orientation when the clients are walking the grounds with their energetic Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog.

photo_credit © Joe Fletcher
© Joe Fletcher

Walls
Serving as a counterpoint to the chimneys, 12-foot tall site walls define the progression of movement through the house. They intentionally conceal and reveal the panoramic mountain views while registering the sloping natural landscape against the house. Mies van der Rohe’s early 1920s brick country house serves as an inspiration for how the natural landscape can be made clearer by the built construction, while not being tamed. The particular bricks are standard size and lime coated prior to firing in the kiln. Mortar joints are rough and flush to the face, emphasizing the mass of the surface instead of the individual brick units. The wood walls of the Residential Wing are inspired by the black cedar post fencing around the property as well as being a traditional finish for barns and house farms.

photo_credit © Joe Fletcher
© Joe Fletcher

Roofs
Inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello nearby, natural copper roofs cover the three pitched volumes of the house. Formed with 18” wide sheets of copper, the top and bottom 4 feet of each standing seam has been beaten down by hammer to create a flat edge, giving a clean, sharp definition to the roof edge. The copper will patina over time eventually ending in verdigris approximately 50 years from now and marking the passage of time.

photo_credit © Joe Fletcher
© Joe Fletcher
photo_credit © Joe Fletcher
© Joe Fletcher
photo_credit © Joe Fletcher
© Joe Fletcher
Caption
Caption

Read story in PortuguêsEspañolFrançaisItaliano and Deutsch

Project Credits
Products used in this project
Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Snøhetta brings a modern vision to the remote historic hotel Finse 1222
27 May 2022 News
Snøhetta brings a modern vision to the remote historic hotel Finse 1222

At the very highest point of the Norwegian Railway track and only accessible by train, you will find... More

New Novartis Pavilion in Basel features a distinctive zero-energy media facade
27 May 2022 News
New Novartis Pavilion in Basel features a distinctive zero-energy media facade

The Novartist Pavilion by AMDL CIRCLE is a new exhibition, meeting and event centre at the Novartis... More

Immersive Golong Wormhole visually represents the transformative nature of a beauty and wellness brand
25 May 2022 News
Immersive Golong Wormhole visually represents the transformative nature of a beauty and wellness brand

In Hangzhou, China, the Golong Wormhole by PINES ARCH is an experimental space for events and exhibi... More

Villa RS by JUMA Architects employs charred wooden cladding and horizontally oriented planes to blend with the Belgian landscape
25 May 2022 News
Villa RS by JUMA Architects employs charred wooden cladding and horizontally oriented planes to blend with the Belgian landscape

In the Flemish Ardennses, Villa RS by JUMA Architects is situated in a picturesque landscape with ch... More

Kindergarten for Llubi expresses in built form two converging patterns from its landscape context
24 May 2022 News
Kindergarten for Llubi expresses in built form two converging patterns from its landscape context

In the small Mallorca town of Llubi, this new kindergarten by Aixopluc Architects is located on a pe... More

25 best architecture firms in Mexico City
23 May 2022 News
25 best architecture firms in Mexico City

Mexico City is home to a number of outstanding, epoch-defining architectural firms. Its contemporary... More

New Singer Museum wing by Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten offers a balanced experience of art, architecture and garden
22 May 2022 News
New Singer Museum wing by Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten offers a balanced experience of art, architecture and garden

In Tilburg, NL, the new Nardinc wing of the Singer Museum by Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten houses th... More

Al Naseej Factory: A woven architecture that celebrates local craftspeople
22 May 2022 News
Al Naseej Factory: A woven architecture that celebrates local craftspeople

Located in Bani Jamrah, Bahrain, the Al Naseej Factory by Leopold Banchini is a textile weaving faci... More