The Howard Farm Caretaker House is envisioned as a self-contained residence associated with an existing 150 year-old farmhouse in the rolling countryside of the Allegany Mountains. New construction replaced a collapsing outbuilding on the site and connects to the historic house by a newly constructed shared entry space that serves as both the rear entry of the historic house and the formal entry of the new caretaker house. The caretaker house itself is 1,800 square feet with three bedrooms and two baths.
In keeping with the eclectic nature of the old house and environs, the client and designers wished to remember the demolished outbuilding. That building was built at the turn of the last century and possessed Mission details, board and baton, shingle siding, and plate glass windows. The new Caretaker House was designed in that tradition offering a compliment across styles to the much older historic farm house. That said, the Caretaker House embraces the historic House by sharing a gambrel roof form typical of Dutch Colonial houses in the region.
To further embrace a light footprint on the abundantly beautiful countryside, landscaping was left intentionally minimal. The existing grade was used with virtually no additional land disturbance. After construction, the grass quickly returned and the existing gravel drive was extended to the new, shared entry. In the fullness of time, lush vines with climb over the Cedar trellises at the front entry and patio as blueberry bushes grow at the base of the screened porch.
Inside, the House centers on the living roof of an open floor plan. Four French doors wash the rooms with eastern light, as western light illuminates the kitchen though a half-hexagon bay. The stairs occupy the large western dormer which allows natural light to flood both floors, including the under-stair library. An office space is provided behind the windows of another bay that look over the eastern patio and landscape beyond.