Panoramic Views and Indoor/Outdoor Living: Vermont River House by Wagner Hodgson

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This Norwich, VT, site, sits 30 feet above the Connecticut River — hence the name “River House” — and affords expansive views, so when the owners wanted a modern house and setting to take advantage of the locale, they called in Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture. The plan was simple: blur the lines between indoors and outdoors, making for seamless easy living and entertaining. Out of the design came the main house; guest house/boat storage building; terraces, pool, and outdoor shower; plus a putting green and fire pit. Approaching the house is a long concrete wall — wide enough for an informal bench — edging the walkway; notice ornamental grass trim that follows it (and kids on their way to adventure, no doubt). Local boulders, as well as river birch trees, also play a part in the natural décor of the entry.

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From a concrete façade, the house’s walls echo the same material; Ipe wood decking surrounds part of the pool opposite an architectural waterfall. Paving slabs are stepping stones toward the river; freestanding concrete walls provide privacy for the pool. The overall shape is that of squares and rectangles — except for those whimsical curvy chairs and table, set up for a cozy nighttime glass of wine or cup of coffee. Lines are clean, simple, and sleek — and the indoor/outdoor mix is clear, looking from an interior lounge area with relaxed leather chairs straight out to a deck with a parallel lounge set in wood and plush cushions. Finally, low-maintenance plants are the order of the day — thereby affording the family more time to enjoy a swim, a starlit river night, and the warmth of a fire around which to gather.

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