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October 2010


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FEATURES

A Sense of Place
By Mindy Pantiel
Photographs by John M. Hall

FOR A YOUNG COUPLE AND THEIR THREE CHILDREN, A LAKEFRONT HOME IN GREENWICH GETS A NEW LOOK—ONE THAT COMBINES TIMELESS CLASSICS WITH MODERN TOUCHES

Click on any photo for a larger gallery view.

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AMAZING SPACE
(click photo for larger view)

Visiting architect Keith Kroeger's bucolic Bedford, New York property is a bit like entering a maze. The experience begins at the entry where visitors drive into a courtyard created by a three-car garage and a two-story section of the main house. From there a gate leads to yet another courtyard—there are six in total, defined by the garage, the L-shaped residence, a vine-covered stucco wall and a string of linden trees. Throughout the property, carefully sited walls, archways and doorways mandate meandering.

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"Unlike the good old center hall Colonial where you arrive and see through the house out to the garden and that's that, here there's never a place where you can see the whole house at one time," Kroeger says. "Instead you travel through the various gardens and slowly discover the house. It's meant to be very playful."

When Kroeger, who has been designing country homes and gardens for more than three decades, first spied the four wooded acres in the late 1990s, he knew he would create a landscape totally in sync with the rural topography, as well as design a house that honored its local roots. He achieved that goal and more. A few years ago, it was selected to grace the cover of Gardens in the Spirit of Place (Stewart, Tabor and Change, 2005), chosen for being in harmony with its environment and for celebrating its regional origins.

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"The property is surrounded by horse farms, meadows and countryside filled with vegetables and flowers," says Kroeger, who saved the existing white oaks, red multi-stem maples and mature white pines. The trees served as a jumping-off point for the new landscape design that required clearing large sections of the meadow to make way for the garage, main house and a separate studio. In deference to the local vernacular the four-bedroom, 3,500-square-foot house resembles a barn, and the multi-level structure features a series of windows that are 11 feet high and 8 feet wide. These "big barn openings" are responsible for the abundance of daylight that brightens all the spaces.

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