The Robertson Residence, located in Accokeek, Maryland, is an addition to an existing Acorn structure on a beautiful 5 acre site, adjacent to a large ravine and a Woodland Preservation Area. The project was conceived as a ‘retreat’ from the confines of the existing living quarters, providing a living room / gallery space, a bathroom and a guest bedroom.

The project emerges from a convergence between the rigor of prefabricated building systems and commonly accepted construction techniques with the mass-customized potentials of parametric, associative, informational modeling and CNC technologies.

The soaring structure is intended to heighten the sense of transition as the occupant moves from the main living quarters, through an ‘umbilical-like’ bridge and into the slowly expanding space of the addition and visually into the natural landscape. The resulting space is a delicately choreographed dance between standard building techniques and materials and new technologies, between the interior and exterior, and between the old and the new.

With tight budgetary constraints, reform, llc chose to use low tech construction methods in innovative ways. Parametric modeling softwares and physical modeling techniques were utilized in order to generate a custom, yet inexpensive roof truss system.  Using the precision of parametric modeling software to remove the guess work from the assembly process, we were able to sidestep significant cost implications while still producing complex forms through implied surfaces. The design intentionally minimizes the impact on the site but produces the effect of being in the canopy of the trees with a view of a ravine, leading to the Potomac River beyond.