With a plot of family land on her heart and a single photograph in her hands, Sarah was frustrated. She and her husband Glen met with two architects who did not understand the vision the couple had for the home they wanted to build, so Sarah expressed her skepticism when they met with a third architect, Sheri Scott, founder of Springhouse Architects.
“Sarah told me, ‘I know people think I’m crazy because I love this airport,’” says Scott, remembering the photograph of a mid-century airport Sarah brought to their first meeting. “But I told her it was perfect for me. Inspiration doesn’t have to be a home…it has to be something that speaks to you. And this airport spoke to Sarah.”
The other thing that spoke to Glen and Sarah was the farm that had been in her family for generations but had gone fallow.
“Glen worked very hard to reclaim this land and turn it back into a working farm,” Scott describes of the location for the couple’s dream home. “They had a specific location where they wanted the home to sit, and they wanted it to look like it belonged there but sat lightly upon the land.”
Because of Sarah and Glen’s desire for their home to sit effortlessly on the farm, they wanted to use as many natural elements as possible. They also wanted to take advantage of the vast views and privacy out the rear of the home.
“Sarah and Glen are both retired, so they are living in the house throughout the day and wanted to see the movement of the sun all day long,” Scott says of their inspiration for banking the entire back of the home in glass. “From the great room you can’t see any roads. Sarah and Glen had no privacy concerns. The airport in their inspiration picture had a glass wall too.”
Scott received multiple quotes for the custom window construction required for this project, and ultimately contracted with Pella. “You don’t automatically think of Pella as a custom window manufacturer, but they worked hand-in-hand with us to get the windows exact,” Scott says. “The glass wall is not structural, but you need some rigidity to resist wind forces and Pella helped us keep that all very minimal.” Plus, Scott says, “The homeowners are thrilled with how energy efficient this home is, and the technology of Pella windows lends to that.”
Jason Sayers, business development manager at Pella Windows, says they are seeing more window walls in homes as homeowners lean more toward a streamlined, contemporary architecture and interior design. Because of the detailing of this home, Greg Mullins, who does more commercial work with Pella, was heavily involved with this project.
“The window wall took a lot of structural engineering,” Sayers says echoing Scott. “We have the capability to work with Pella corporate when we need to design a custom structure, and we worked hand-in-hand with the architects.”
Sayers says the trend of window walls is often used in urban settings where homes are tall and narrow. The window walls make the spaces feel larger while optimizing city views. Sarah and Glen’s home was the opposite, sitting low to the ground and sprawling out, but the window wall achieved the same results.
Article by Sarah J. Dills | Photos by Kelly Ann Photography
Article originally appeared in May 2022