Gaines Group Architects


Project Location: Harrisonburg, Virginia

General Contractor: Beck Builders

Photo Credit: Denise Martin Photography

 This high performance modern cottage infill project was built in Old Town Harrisonburg in 2014 by Beck Builders. The client’s goal was for a healthy, energy-efficient, and durable home that minimized site impact. We worked to place the house on the site to reduce the loss of trees with Karl Shank at the Natural Garden. This led to using a bridge to connect the parking to the front porch and a careful placement of the high performance modern cottage. The result of careful attention to the site constraints is a beautifully integrated site / home using a modern color palette, details, and materials.

Inside the high performance modern cottage you have a feeling of being in a tree house. The windows are placed in the appropriate locations to capture views of tree tops and to connect the inside to the outside. The front porch is large enough to sit and enjoy a morning coffee. The side deck is sized perfect for grilling. The position of the home allows for the home owners to add an at-grade patio for larger outside gatherings. There is also a roof top deck that has some of the most incredible views from downtown.

The open first floor allows for entertaining friends, the raised platform gives definition for the kid play space, and the wood floors bring warm natural textures and colors into the home. The playful goals of the clients introduced a hidden room in the attic behind a bookcase and a kid size door between two of the bedrooms. The garage is wired for future technology to be added for an electric car. The basement is finished allowing for overnight guests and the attic is the perfect home office.

This high performance modern cottage started with a floor plan sketch done by our clients and a wish for a modern clean line architectural solution. Through conversations, sketches, and teamwork a high performance modern cottage that fits perfectly on the site was created.

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