A Village of One’s Own

Welcome to A Village of One's Own, a modern masterpiece by Hugh Newell Jacobsen. Described as one of the world’s top 50 architects by Architectural Digest, Jacobsen has been retained by celebrities including Meryl Streep, James Gardner and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Here in Meadowbrook, Mr. Jacobsen was tasked with creating a modern home on a sloping hillside in 1988. Nearly invisible from the road, however the moment you turn down the drive, there is a sense of calm discovery. Three massive chimneys reach for the sky and the entire structure is covered in cedar shingles on the roof. There is a crispness and symmetry to the varying buildings from the 6-dormered Federal-style living room to the glass, pyramidal sky tower that was inspired by an 18th Century lantern house over the entry foyer. Ornamentation is eliminated, with box gutters hiding the downspouts and it is completely void of any fenestration. The forms themselves are the decoration, and it is simply brilliant! From the entry courtyard, the home appears small and simple. The site afforded the architect with the ability to design a reverse plan where the public living spaces occupy the main level. This first floor is high like a treehouse with views out to the canopy of trees that fill the rear yard. The private living quarters occupy the full lower-level with complete connection to the grounds through a series of symmetrical sliding glass doors from every room to the flagstone walkway across the entire rear of the house. With Southern exposure, the way the sunlight plays across the rear of the home is wonderful. No matter what Mother Nature delivers on any given day, from sun, to snow to rain, the experience and connection to the outdoors is magical. The home is grand without being grandiose. There is a quiet elegance that offers multiple experiences. One enters into the 2nd of the pavilions. The bluestone floored foyer is bathed in light from the glass sky tower above and two large windows facing the rear patio and grounds. Centered in the foyer is the powder room with a 16' ceiling that has a mural painted by Hugh Newell Jacobsen himself! It's a whimsical interpretation of Michelangelo's Creation of Adam. The 20' vaulted living room to the left of the foyer is the first of many surprises. A series of six dormers cut through the soaring ceiling while eight symmetrical 8' tall floor-to-ceiling windows ground the living room to the outdoors. Centered on the gable wall is the first of five wood burning fireplaces with a hidden wood box tucked to the right and a square window off-centered to the left. Another ingenious design of Jacobsen's is the placement of interior window shutters to control the flow of light. The third pavilion provides another signature Jacobsen element, the 25' tall library walls and circular staircase to the private quarters below. This section also houses a massive roof light on the Southern slope of the pavilion. The fourth pavilion houses the dining room and kitchen. Similar to the living room, yet juxtaposed with the gable walls facing the rear and front yards, soaring ceilings in the dining room and large windows provide the perfect backdrop to enjoy the changing seasons with family and friends over great meals. The second wood burning fireplace is centered on one side wall with hidden storage closets. The kitchen is the definition of efficiency, with cabinetry on all four walls and a large central island. Double ovens, a SubZero side-by-side fridge and a series of square windows overlooking the entry court provide the perfect vista to see guests as they arrive. The 5th and smallest of the pavilions houses the mudroom and breakfast room with the third wood burning fireplace. The master suite occupies the entire space under pavilions 4 and 5 and is a refuge of simple, classic forms. It has a dedicated home office, large en-suite bath, a walk through closet and the remaining two fireplaces. For more information, please visit www.avillageofonesown.com or contact listing agent Scott Laughlin at 215-275-1685.

See more on Dwell.com: A Village of One's Own by Hugh Newell Jacobsen – Jenkintown, Pennsylvania

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