Thomas Jefferson’s get-away home, Poplar Forest, is a geometric delight. And it does have a wide range of fans, none more so than the couple who came to us to design a timber frame for a re-imagined version of the octagonal retreat that Jefferson built in the early 1800’s.
There are, of course, some deviations from the original, of which the most obvious are the addition of an exterior staircase and the omission of the railing around the perimeter of lower roof.
The house is fully timber framed and had to be engineered for a significant uplift in coastal Virginia, as well as higher than normal wind loads.
The square core of this octagon is the library. The exotic hardwood flooring is laid in a herringbone pattern.
The elevator shaft is surrounded by the staircase.
The reading nook at the far end of the dining room features a soapstone wood burner.