Back to School
An inviting entrance and point of departure.
It’s that time of year again, when the backpacks come out and new shoes are worn for the first day of school. Leaving and entering the house is a significant experience for everyone, especially young people who are heading out out for a long and new day at school. We tend to take the experience for granted, but it plays a large role in how we process space, time, emotions, seasons, and light. I took this photo right around 3:00 pm, when the sun softly broke through the clouds. I was immediately drawn to the sunlight streaming in through the door and had to stop what I was shooting so I could capture this fleeting moment. To me it speaks volumes about how a simple space can become embedded in our minds and memories as a place where we venture from and return to: the place we call “home.”
The door is made out of the same material as the exterior siding—horizontal Eastern Hemlock boards. They have a clear finish to preserve the rich gold and orange hue of the wood which is in direct contrast to the exterior weathered wood. The handle of the sliding door is a piece of horse-drawn buggy dashboard that was excavated from the site. The sliding-door hardware came from under the workbench in the homeowner’s parents’ barn. The floor tile is Fabrique by Daltile, a modern porcelain tile that is white with streaks of gray and light brown. The tile’s colors help with cleaning, since they are similar to dirty footprints!
Arrival and Departure Mudroom and Porch: words from the architect (who is also the homeowner):
“We look out from the mudroom door to the porch and see what the weather is before gearing up for the elements.
When the wooden door is opened, the light pours into the room filled with boots, coats, mittens—sometimes orderly, most times expressing the adventures of the day … or night.
The door with its full-vision panel in some ways acts as a pressure lock or membrane between two worlds, linked but dramatically different. Lincoln, Vermont, has over 8000 heating-degree days and this is a PHIUS Certified Passive House, the most rigorous energy efficiency and comfort standard we have. The winters are cold, and the heat of the summer can be extreme. As a passive house, the indoor temperatures are consistent at 68° to 72° year-round with very little energy use. In spite of such dramatic temperature and weather extremes, we live outside as much as inside, which is really just the norm in Vermont. The boundary between these two worlds is where you find the mudroom … the beginning and ending point of all of our adventures.”
Architect: Gregor Masefield, Studio 3 Architects