Mad for Modern
A couple had been searching for a site for a new home for years, when they found an incredible natural setting in Weston. The rugged but lush landscape, with forested slopes and a massive ledge softened by bright green ferns in season, held an instant appeal. But was it buildable? LDa Architecture & Interiors and Dan Gordon Landscape Architects were brought in to make that determination, and, happily, answered with a collective “yes.”
The pair, who hailed from Munich and Rio de Janeiro, intended to build a traditional home with an open interior that would fit in here in New England. In fact, plans for a traditional theme were well under way, explains principal Michael Waters of LDa Architecture & Interiors, when the client and architect shifted gears and “completely reset the design of the home.” For them, a traditional home would mean settling, and their love of modern design and straight lines, cultivated while living in Switzerland for 15 years, prevailed.
Landscape architect Dan Gordon set about “creating a landscape that works both with the natural context and the clean lines of the contemporary architecture,” he shares, and developed a design schematic that nestled the striking, linear structure snugly and squarely in the slope.
The spectacular setting warranted an incredible home, and LDa Architecture & Interiors answered with an open, light-filled design that celebrates its connection to nature. Floor-to-ceiling windows pervade, with many wrapping around the corners of the house “to erode the sense of boundary,” and give it an easy, amiable sensibility.
As the family opens their home to friends from all over the world, the residence needed to be inviting. An oversized front door swings open in an exaggerated welcome from an entryway with “no sense of threshold,” says Waters, while a stunning suspended stair, comprised of white marble, oak, stainless steel and chrome, just beyond the door, announces, “come on up.”
The homeowners, who have a keen appreciation for aesthetic, “are about as close as you can get to a perfect client in residential architecture,” contends Waters. Simone, in fact, who has a background in finance, went back to school to lean into her love of interior design before selecting the mixed materials, finishes and furnishings of this home with Portuguese design firm Sa, Aranha and Vasconcelo.
This level of detail—and exuberance—meant that Denali Construction Corp. had their work cut out for them. With the modern style, “there’s no room for error,” says Principal Jim DePaolo, but his team was up to the task. Crafting the corner windows, recessed crown moldings, telescoping doors, exterior cantilevers and that stair tower is difficult work, but gratifying. His company has built this family their “dream house,” and in the process, may very well have made them New Englanders. Laughs Simone, “So many of our friends wish they could stay on vacation forever. For us, it’s the opposite. We love coming back home.”
"I have a great faith in design and in a great client. It's fun to let both the client and the site shape the design...to really relax and let the thing happen."
- Michael Waters, principal at LDa Architecture & Interiors
The homeowners wanted the home to be "livable," and created zones for the kids and adult spaces. While Simone's bedroom may be her favorite room of the house, the master bath, laden with marble by Ideal Tile of Newton, comes off as even more elegant aside the rugged terrain.
Architect: LDa Architecture & Interiors
Interior Architecture & Design: Simone Habermeyer & Sa, Aranha and Vasconcelo
Construction: Denali Construction Corp.
Landscape Architecture: Dan Gordon Landscape Architects
Tile and Marble: Ideal Tile of Newton
Photography: Eric Roth Photography
As seen in Boston Design Guide, 21st edition.
"Mad for Modern," pages 146-153
View the Digital Edition here.