Trefoil House, Vermont / J.Roc Design

Trefoil House, Vermont by J.Roc Design

Architects: J.Roc Design
Project: Trefoil House
Design: Jeremy Jih
Location: Stowe, Vermont, United States
Area 5000.0 ft2
Project Year 2016
Photography: James Leng

The Trefoil House inherited a pre-existing three-sided hearth and partial foundation, located on a rural sloped site in Stowe, Vermont. The house was reimagined using the hearth as a structural and narrative generator: The house is built out from its triangular core as three squares joined at the corners. The three-sided hearth is used as a central program driver, producing a continuous trefoil circulation loop around the perimeter of each square and providing a central point of orientation while allowing for the house to spread into the landscape.

Trefoil House, Vermont by J.Roc Design 1

Public spaces are enclosed in glass, while private spaces are shielded with sculpted louvers to differentiate the rotationally symmetric plan. A 150 foot long curtain wall wraps continuously around six sides of the house. The trefoil circulation allows for an unbroken perceptual experience of the pristine site, but critically also allows for an entirely wheelchair accessible upper level in order to accommodate the client’s elderly parents and an aging-in-place philosophy.

Trefoil House, Vermont by J.Roc Design 2

Two parallel driving forces propelled all design decisions
First, the desire to perceptually bring the incredible view into the interior. To accomplish this, we borrowed from the method of James Turrell’s skyspaces in which a square of open sky appears as a flattened image through the total reduction of the frame edge. All visible thresholds, sills, and headers to distinguish the passage from interior to exterior are eliminated.

Trefoil House, Vermont by J.Roc Design 3

Second, the need for complete accessibility on the upper level. The client and his parents work in the geriatric healthcare industry and are intimately acquainted with the architectural needs of the elderly. To allow for uninterrupted wheelchair access, thresholds, sills, and teak shower pans are flush, and the entire trefoil circulation path is accessible, broad, and clearly defined.

Trefoil House, Vermont by J.Roc Design 4

This productive convergence of perceptual and pragmatic needs allowed for design decisions from the scale of the detail to the scale of the building parti to satisfy both drives at once.

Trefoil House, Vermont by J.Roc Design 5

To keep construction costs at $200 a square foot, a cost effective commercial storefront system was selected. To resist -30 degree winter temperatures, a poured concrete radiant floor slab and coated insulated glass were paired. The interior material palette is limited to cedar, polished black concrete, brass, and walnut.

Trefoil House, Vermont by J.Roc Design 6

Trefoil House, Vermont by J.Roc Design 7

Trefoil House, Vermont by J.Roc Design 8

Trefoil House, Vermont by J.Roc Design 9

Trefoil House, Vermont by J.Roc Design 10

Trefoil House, Vermont by J.Roc Design 14

Trefoil House, Vermont by J.Roc Design 16

Trefoil House, Vermont by J.Roc Design 17

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

From Seine to the Mediterranean – Barcelona Apartment by Egue y Seta

From Seine to the Mediterranean is an apartment in Barcelona recently completed by Egue y Seta. The apartment has an area of 78 square meters. Description...

Cubo House: restoring a Victorian house in Melbourne

Cubo House is a patrimony residence from the Victorian period, in Melbourne. The two-floor building was restored and transformed by Phooey Architects in a...

Peppertree Villa, a 1920s Home Revived and Refreshed by Luigi Rosselli

At the summit of Bellevue Hill a centennial Peppertree rises over the skyline; two homes lie beneath its vast canopy. To one side of the fence, The Oculi House and to the other, Peppertree Villa, a skillfully designed late 1920s home.

Pacific Pavilion by Studio John Irving Architects

The Pacific pavilion opens out in two directions, to the east (ocean) and to the west (farm). The views in both directions seem to go forever, the rolling hills give the ocean views a run for their money. The remote location meant the project needed to be manage extremely well and it also needed to fit within a challenging timespan.

House Burch – Cool White with Curves / Those Architects

This new family house in Australia’s Byron Bay, designed by THOSE architects for a young family with their clan of young children, demonstrates how climate can be harnessed to best effect.

Two Orchids Herald the Entrance to Central Park in New York

Once a rare and exotic flower, the orchid has become one of the world’s most ubiquitous indoor plants. From corporate offices to domestic interiors,...