Just Listed: Renewed Contemporary in Villanova
C2 Architecture’s minimalist makeover of this masterwork breathed new life into its original soul.
Like 1970s subways do in the public-works realm, 1970s contemporary houses occupy an odd space on the spectrum of American domestic architecture.
Some of them have become period pieces much like the subterranean stations on Bay Area Rapid Transit. Once seen as fresh and modern, they now look dated.
Others channel Washington Metro stations in their timeless simplicity.
And for some, the difference between the BART look and the Metro style is a good architect who gets the soul of 1970s modernism.
Not having seen what this renewed contemporary Villanova house for sale looked like before Germantown-based C2 Architecture got its hands on it in 2016, I can’t say for sure whether the firm’s refresh of this 1979 contemporary rescued it from BART-like period-piece datedness. But I can say that C2 channeled the elemental Washington Metro soul of this expansive, stylish house and gave it lots of 21st-century minimalist pizzazz.
“Minimalist” and “pizzazz” in the same sentence? Well, what would you call the extra element that makes these spaces pop?
Maybe you’d call it nature, and you’d be justified in doing so. The huge sliding-door window walls in the main living spaces blur the line between indoors and out.
They also add lots of color to the black-and-white interiors, but so did the architects and interior designer in their choice of light fixtures, furnishings and trim.
The study on the first floor even flips the script, making black the dominant color and white the accent, the better to emphasize the warm fall colors of the furnishings.
And the skylit kitchen gives off a warmer, almost Scandinavian vibe in its combination of white-painted wood on the Wellborn cabinetry and walnut on the island’s waterfall bar seating area and recessed storage shelves inserted into the pantry.
You’ll also find a wall of walnut as you walk down the corridor leading from the first-floor master suite’s entrance to its bedroom. The walnut here faces doors that open to reveal a series of storage cabinets and a walk-in Elfa closet.
The floating dual vanity in the first-floor master bathroom contains even more walnut, which also surrounds the dual medicine cabinets. In a very smart move, the marble waterfall surround for the soaking tub doubles as the seating bench in the shower.
On the upper level, glass railings make the second-floor landing feel like it’s floating on air above the floor below.
And its second master suite offers a dose of cool as light filters through the trees and the clerestory window. This suite also contains a wet bar with a mini-fridge. Combine this with a deck and it becomes a great guest bedroom.
The house’s 1.1-acre wooded lot also invites you to combine the indoors and the outdoors. The sliding doors between the kitchen and the dining area on the full-width rear deck make it easy to combine cooking inside and dining outside as well. In addition to this deck, both master bedrooms have decks of their own, and the first-floor master also has a private patio.
How about making breakfast to serve on that deck? You’ll be able to serve the freshest eggs possible, as this house comes with a chicken coop in its backyard.
And you’ll find all this just a short drive away from Conshohocken’s office towers. Gladwyne’s village center is almost as close, and both Villanova University and Bryn Mawr’s town center are just a little further away. From West Conshy, it’s a short trip up the Schuylkill Expressway to King of Prussia.
In the way it invites nature in, this renewed contemporary Villanova house for sale follows in the footsteps of the midcentury modern masters. In combining this feature with a contemporary exterior and a minimalist yet warm interior, it bridges the 1970s and today.
THE FINE PRINT
BATHS: 3 full, 1 half
SQUARE FEET: 4,733
SALE PRICE: $1,549,000
OTHER STUFF: Not only does this house look smart, it is smart — it’s wired for Cat6 Ethernet and its lighting and kitchen appliances are all WiFi-enabled for remote control from anywhere.
1260 Lakemont Rd., Villanova, Pa. 19085 [Chris Chodkowski | Compass]