charlottesville, VIRGINIA


This project began as a master plan investigating redevelopment alternatives to help the owners determine whether to renovate an existing homesite or develop a new site further from the road.  The 200-acre working farm is under conservation easement with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and includes a main residence, caretaker's cottage, livestock and equipment outbuildings. It was important that any design options maintain these structures and the integrity of the on-going farming operation. Grounded provided three options, each tying the property together and enhancing existing elements in different ways. Based upon findings determined through these alternatives and also through research into easement restrictions and opportunities, the owners then decided to construct a new primary residence away from road traffic and with extraordinary views, repurposing the existing house into a guest cottage for family and friends.

Working together with Rosney Architects, the new house site is currently in design development. Grounded’s site design uses a vocabulary of vernacular stone walls to suggest remnant pieces of antique walls flowing down the hillside and forming terraces. Ramps between different levels will allow the children to run over an interplay of lawn, landforms and meadow. The site will also include a pool, spa garden and fountain and a 1703 cabin sourced from Drake’s Branch, Virginia by Rosney to be rebuilt on site.

A second phase of construction will include a new pond, barn and driveway. The existing upper drive will reorganize the site and become a spine to handle traffic for the farm. A new lower driveway will then access the main house with sequenced views through pasture and woods culminating in an dramatic final approach past a new 3-acre meadow. Alexander Nicholson begins construction on this project in Summer 2019.

Architecture: Rosney Co. Architects
General Contractor: Alexander Nicholson