Charlottesville - USA
Large homesteads are known for grand possibilities, fields of green, and wide horizons. Many properties that are highly prized for their location can also come with many limitations, covenants, and restrictions. Such was the case in Charlottesville. 50 acres of historical land that had been farmed for many generations since owned by Thomas Jefferson. To keep the character of the land a deter dense residential development, lots were set at a 50-acre minimum. Building sizes, numbers and access are also defined. These are not any more limiting than a property line or soil type. It is the context for which the design must exist. We take these into account as we do slope and water access and climate. They are design drivers, not limitations. Hence, with this site, we still had many opportunities to build the desired lifestyle of the client. An earth surrounded home with a grand southeast facing and sun-loving view. Food productions, grazing, and accommodations for a farm manager. The creek running through has a wide protective easement. We also saw skunk cabbage growing in the fen on the lower bend of the stream. Immediate recognition of why it is protected. This property is defined by its many functional spaces. Numerous gardens around the residence. Rotational grazing in centuries-old pastures. Intercropping of fruiting trees in the windbreaks and paddock dividers. Management of the subsided stream under the western slopes. Vineyards and gardens are terraced into the hill below the residence. Above, the orchards and many fruiting shrubs fill into the canopy ridge. Placement of the house was to take advantage of the land view without exposing the structure to inclement weather and excessive heating and cooling. Being below the ridgeline also acts as a sound barrier to development to the west. Access to the gardens and vineyard is just outside the door.
Climate: Tropical Savannah
Annual Precipitation: 59.7 inches
Function: Residential Homestead with
Self Sufficient Food Production.
Size: 50 acres