The Stone at Kenoza Lake House
On a September day in 2022, the stone façade construction process at our Kenoza Lake House project was filmed by photographer Michael Biondo. From the initial vision of our client of a native stone house, through months of drawing studies by our design team, a lengthy search for the right stonemason partner, to an exacting build. The house façade is made of fieldstone gathered from the project site, and supplemented with stone sourced from three nearby Pennsylvania quarries.
The lead project mason, Lopardo Federico, is a third generation stonemason with a self described “stone obsession.” Lopardo was tasked by our team with sourcing and installing native stone walls on the house façade, to appear as if the walls of the home had been there for many generations. To achieve this, no wall could appear uniform, and special attention was paid to the visual balance of shapes. To ensure variation, stone was sourced from three different quarries – each providing a slightly different product. Stones covered in moss from the site are also incorporated into the walls to add visual texture, and to root the house in the site. When visiting the construction site, it is not uncommon to see a mason somewhere in the forest gathering stones suitable for the project as they take a break from carving and placement.
The construction of the walls is a choreographed dance – gathering a few stones at a time from the heaping piles around the site, searching for variation and shapes that complement each other. The art is in the combinations and the balance of the stone. After stone selections are approved, the masons hand carve them to customize their shape even further, based on what is needed for their specific placement.
Our team is very fortunate to be working with a visionary client, a dedicated general contractor, Baxter Construction, talented design collaborators Emily Ord, Studio NTH, and RKLA Studio, and our outstanding project architect Jordi Biosca. The stone construction effort, and all aspects of the project, reflect the creation of a home with heartfelt care, craft, patience, and teamwork.