Tara & Jerry’s sunroom Addition
Tara and Jerry wanted a “sunroom” on the north side of their home in Alexandria, VA – an addition on the back of their existing house, opening into the tall trees, expansive yet energy efficient. The design response provided expanding spaces with enough well-placed windows for the desired effect, along with highly insulated walls, roof and floor.
Most post-war (II) houses such as theirs were built as objects, disconnected from the land. This addition, completed in the spring of 2009, expands the flow of the site both up into the trees and out into the land, via a porch/pier extending into the backyard from the addition and a sweeping, flowing deck.
At the same time, Tara & Jerry’s sunroom Addition imbues their busy lives (three children, dog and cats, at-home business) with a deep sense of rootedness via a complementary wide, arcing space (yang) and a masonry stove (yin). The double-volume space reflects the dome of the sky. The stove’s flowing forms rise out of the earth, with a contiguous, nestling bench. The stove also can provide heat for the most of the house.
Other green features – long-lasting cementious fiber exterior panels, finish wood from local sources, non-toxic finishes, highly energy-efficient windows, living roofs, masonry stove for heating (most efficient wood burning stove).
For further reading on the ecological features of this home, please download a PDF.