Set in a meadow in Vermont dairy country and called for a admired Labrador retriever, Moxie Acropolis Acreage is the dream home of a brace who met aback he was apprenticeship football for his alma mater, Middlebury College, and she was arena basketball for battling Colby College. (Later, their son attempt hoops for Middlebury and one of their accompanying daughters played basketball for Colby.) The able-bodied cilia continued to their best of artist to architectonics their house: Lee Grutchfield of TruexCullins Architectonics Autogenous Architectonics in Burlington, Vermont, stood out not alone for his assignment but additionally because he had played point bouncer for Brandeis University. (Grutchfield’s ancestor additionally had an illustrious basketball career at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the aboriginal 1960s.) Coincidentally, Keith Wagner of Wagner Hodgson Mural Architectonics of Burlington and Hudson, New York, the mural artist on the job, had played basketball at the University of Vermont.
Still, with the barring of three decayed scrap-metal sculptures that could be mistaken for billowing basketballs punctuating the breadth (these are “interpretations of annular hay bales,” says Wagner), there is not a sports allegory to be apparent on the property. Rather, the abode takes its cues from the abundant farms and barns that dot the Champlain Valley.
The continued driveway is attestation to the agrarian carpeting of Vermont. The house, which is not arresting from the road, does not appear into appearance until the third-of-a-mile admission is bisected completed. Combining pastoral adorableness and meandering cow path, the alley traverses a acropolis and a meadow, turns able an orchard, and ends at what Grutchfield calls the “door yard.” The abode is U-shaped, and its accoutrements apartment the parking area. In the spirit of best Vermonters’ alternative for entering their homes through the back, this acceptable breadth offers three options: admission to the barn and mudroom, access to the abode through a academic Greek Revival door, or access to the ample ancestors addition that reads as a barn.
This quiet, august admission reflects Grutchfield’s practical, Vermont-centric aesthetic. The white board abode is about a baby abode in a ample envelope, articulate by assorted accidental elements — service, living, and absorbing — affiliated in the arctic New England way of big house, baby house, aback house, barn. “Lee’s architecture,” says Wagner, “is a anxious and admirable alloy of colloquial architectonics with a aberration of modern.”
This discreet Shaker-plain agreement has been able by a onetime aesthetics aloft who played academy basketball in Massachusetts with hopes of axis professional. Grutchfield’s adulation of Vermont instead brought him to the Green Mountains, breadth he formed as a carpenter for a dozen years afore activity to Norwich University to become an architect. Working in construction, he says, acicular his acknowledgment of abstracts and imparted an environmentally apprenticed rural aesthetic.
Of their house, one of the owners says simply: “We capital a white farm.” Having purchased land, and alert of a prototypal Vermont barn arresting on a adjoining property, the brace had admired what they saw of TruexCullins’s residential assignment and asked Grutchfield to do some assets of a acceptable farm. From there, the arrangement got “more abreast as it went along,” says the architect, until owners and artist accomplished a blessed antithesis with a abode that looked as if it had active its altitude for a aeon and a half.
“Our plan is to retire to the Vermont house,” says one of the clients, application it as home base, “as able-bodied as a ceremony abode with the children.” Now the abode is enjoyed for summer vacations and entertaining, such as graduation celebrations, Thanksgiving, chief night for the Middlebury men’s basketball team, and face-lifting of the clients’ bells vows for their 25th anniversary. So, while the abode sleeps a dozen college-age accompany and the barn can handle groups of 100 or added for a party, the library, living, and dining allowance are friendly, small-scale spaces. Thus, the big farmhouse kitchen feels cozy, confined as the affection of the abode while alms angle of fields and mountains.
The affecting 50-by-30-foot barn, with its second-story loft, wet bar, wine cooler, and bold area, can blot a 16-foot-tall Christmas timberline or a academy weekend party. But with adequate seating, ample fireplace, and 33-foot-high, end-of-wall windows that anatomy the landscape, it can be a attentive amplitude as well.
For his part, Wagner admired the adumbration of the calm architectonics with able alfresco lines, bean walls to ascertain space, and the cardinal adjustment of copse and plants. The accomplished purpose of the mural design, says Grutchfield, commenting on Wagner’s work, “is not to baffle with the views.”
And what views. A built-in of Maine, the wife misses the bank but has begin abundance angle amazing in their own right. “I adulation to watch the sun acceleration in the morning aback I am out there with the dogs.” And she embraces the alteration acclimate beyond the Green Mountains, “when you can see snow on the mountaintops in the ambit or the ablaze colors of fall.”
See added photos of the home:
Design New England, the annual of baroque homes and gardens, celebrates the region’s best autogenous design, architecture, and mural design.
Real Estate and Architectonics New England are both allotment of Boston Globe Media Partners
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