A 300-acre family farm in the mountains of Afton, Virginia was enjoyed by a family for more than thirty years before it was passed along to the next generation. As the property's new stewards, the son and his young family began an extensive renovation of the old farmhouse and site with a vision to expanding its facilities to accommodate their parents, siblings and cousins.
Working with Muse Architects in Washington, DC, the owners and Grounded expanded the farmhouse and added a new garage, guest house, drive court, pool and pool pavilion. The design team honored the historic character of the farmhouse while allowing a more modern approach to evolve as one moves into the site. The new buildings assume the shape and orientation of auxiliary barns, and the planting mimics this approach. Grounded designed a new entry gate, parking, pool pavilion, pool, croquet lawn, livestock fencing, orchard and planting beds.
A series of hedge gates transition the site from the classic farmhouse facade to the more modern complex of "farm buildings" beyond. Stepping through the site reveals dramatic mountain views over a new croquet lawn and pool at the back of the site.
Planting and material selections reinforce these shifts from traditional to modern. The front of the house is planted with boxwood and accessed by brick paths. At the guest cottage and rear addition, however, the planting loosens, changes to native planting and blends to the open pasture and woods beyond with large drifts of grasses.
Grounded sited a pool and pool pavilion to frame the family's favorite mountain view. Conceived as a re- interpretation of an old farm wall, the ground falls away at the pool pavilion to expose a stone elevation. From the old main house, one sees nothing but a stone wall; the modern pool is hidden.
New livestock fencing, a hillside meadow, mountain biking trails and thinning of the wood lot to enhance views were also part of the program for this site.
Photography: Lincoln Barbour