Residence Redux: A home for the future
Bonoli explains, “Typically houses are a couple of feet above grade, once you have the 8 inches exposed for the foundation and then the first floor joists, which often requires three or four steps to go from the house to the grade. We knew we didn’t want that for this house; we wanted the house to flow very gradually and sit low enough to nestle right into the site.” A shelf foundation was employed to set the floor joists into the foundation wall, allowing the floor joists to be eight inches above the grade and therefore one step between house and grade.
Bonoli continues to discuss how the orientation of the front door, the driveway, auxiliary parking and even the driveway entrance were all mutually discussed and deliberated amongst the team. “You have a million ideas at first, most of them really good, but it is always interesting to see the perfected, refined result that becomes the composite of all of the input and ingenuity,” she says.
“We all gave each other the luxury of letting the project evolve. Charlie didn’t pressure any of us to put every bell and whistle into the project, like a swimming pool and a tennis court,” Bonoli adds.
The island in the middle of the driveway holds a secret—in fact, a secret room. Originally designed to hold water for the original home, a 10-foot by 12-foot underground concrete structure was discovered during construction. Charlie says local legend claims that bootleggers used it to store their contraband. He says he has plans for the bunker in his next phase, perhaps even a special spot for a glass of brandy.
Bonoli recalls a meeting at the site early in the process when she and Judy Laverty wandered off from the group of engineers, builders and landscapers. Judy confided in Bonoli that she was genuinely content in her current home and sometimes didn’t understand why Charlie was so committed to building another large house. But Judy recalled something Charlie had said to her: “Judy, we may be old, but we aren’t done!” She explained to Bonoli that unlike many other men, he was not a golfer and didn’t have any other distractions. “Real estate and planning is what he truly loves,” Judy told Bonoli.
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