“We rejoiced every day in the beauty of winter as we enjoyed the new views from every window of the house. The cozy ambiance of the kitchen, dining, and living area was a welcome surprise given the soaring windows and ceiling beams that define these spaces.”
Light Path Residence, located on nineteenth-century farmland in Northeastern Pennsylvania, is the second iteration of a family residence built on the same forested property. This “second act” home is designed for the couple to safely age in place on a single level, after happily raising their children in their previous larger multi-story home. Bringing their favorite elements with them—extensive views, natural light and ventilation, and familiar craftsmanship—the new design incorporates accessibility and flexibility for adaptive in-home health care as needs change over time.
Light Path embraces nature, wellbeing, and healthy living. It does so with expansive windows at either end of the home, a 92-foot-long central skylight flooding the central axis (and main living spaces), an expandable den with folding sliding-glass doors opening to the outdoors, and a highly walkable floor plan. When viewed in plan the pathways form a simple cross, inviting exploration of the house. Varying natural light connects one to the surrounding landscape at different times of day throughout the year.
In response to these natural cues, the residents circulate throughout the house, increasing their movement by over 35% compared to their last home. This regular change of scenery establishes healthy routines, mental stimulation, and maximum enjoyment of each room. The operable skylight and windows provide energy savings through increased natural light for daily tasks and wayfinding, as well as fresh air circulation for natural cooling. The possible need for a wheelchair led to extra-wide hallways, a spacious garage with unrestricted entry into the home, workspaces with lowered counters, and easy to grab custom-designed drawer handles.
Flexibility interweaves every aspect of the three-bedroom home. Although smaller than their previous house, the new residence maximizes space easily transforming to accommodate guests or live-in caretakers. Each of the guest rooms has dual functionality allowing for extra residents while providing usable space now and accessibility needs in the future. Design details such as the second door in one of the primary bedrooms increase flow, which may be essential when an immediate response is required and mobility is limited.
Light Path provides its residents with a light-filled haven for graceful aging in a picturesque and familiar landscape.