Recipe For Authenticity
Architecture Is A Key Ingredient
As you drive through Serenbe, it seems as though the community has been there forever. Winding country roads lead from open fields and preserved forest to retail and restaurants, with the homes in between nestled perfectly among the trees as if they too grew out of the ground. Architecture is the key ingredient to building an authentic town, and Serenbe set high standards from the very beginning.
Each home must follow one architectural style and exercise restraint by using one main material with one to two accents. Most Serenbe homes are built smaller, encouraging efficiency and eliminating unnecessary space, and all are constructed using sustainable materials to enhance the local environment and promote greener living.
The roads through each neighborhood - Selborne, Grange and Mado - are an omega, with the center of the omega sitting at a higher elevation than the outside of the omega. The rooflines follow that increase from outside-in so gradually and naturally that it’s not even noticeable until mentioned. Buildings themselves don’t necessarily increase in height, though. Architects look at the topography of the land and may start at a lower elevation. They pay attention to how the land changes determine where porches should sit in height and how far back the home is set from the road, then design accordingly rather than leveling a lot.
These subtle details are then combined with the specific design of the home. Whether a homeowner chooses a traditional or modern design, the architect must execute that steel to the authenticity of its form ny adhering to specific rules such as home width, window size, trim and colors."
But what does this all mean? And how does it make a community feel authentic?
Steve Nygren has the answer to that question. “Authenticity in architecture doesn’t mean an aged structure but rather a well-detailed building that is constructed to last a lifetime. When we try to create a timeless design featuring a balanced facade with well-proportioned windows and operable shutters that could actually cover the opening, it creates an authenticity that people recognize, even if they don’t know it. It’s real. That’s why small details on a home are just as important as the master plan of the community.”