As retirement approaches and more leisure time is on the horizon, couples with extended families and networks of friends often look for ways to promote fun times together. In the case of one long-standing PSD client, a large property across the street from the getaway home we designed and built for them years ago became available at just the right moment to pursue this end. The existing house on the property was well suited to renovating and expanding as guest quarters, and the large field behind it, sweeping down to woods in the distance, was just the right size and character to facilitate indoor/outdoor multi-generational play space.
PSD set out to design a “social barn” and associated landscape for the back of the property. Timeless appeal (both classical and contemporary); functionally attuned but flexible spaces; simple but well proportioned forms; and beautiful but durable materials, were all on the agenda. The goal was to create an environment of pleasure and relaxation—as well as to bring people together in a dynamic venue for great parties, workouts, basketball, and board games.
The front of the building is a social hall built with an exposed fir wood post and beam frame—a nod to the “barn” idea but with crisp contemporary detailing. Lights hidden above the beams and in ridge-top skylights can be set to any color or to automatically run through the color spectrum. An acrylic bar top has the same feature. A fireplace with a large screen television anchors the center of one side of the room and large steel-framed windows and doors open the space to the landscape beyond on the other three sides. A freestanding steel and fir stair is reached via an open balcony that looks down from the social hall to a half basketball court below. The court also has a dramatic high ceiling with arched fir beams and up-lighting that creates the same dynamic color sequence as in the social hall. An exercise room, locker room, and sauna complete the lower level active retreat space. A large solar panel array positioned on the standing seam metal roof powers the complex as guests power through their workout or games.