07.05.17

The Best Front Porch in the South

Sonia Thompson

The front porch plays an important role in Southern architecture. It's a place to chat with neighbors, read the morning paper, enjoy an evening cocktail, listen to music. At Splinter Creek, the idea of the front porch is elevated further with the Community Porch.

The Community Porch in the distance, as seen from across the North Lake.

Located on a point on the North Lake, the Community Porch belongs to all Splinter Creek residents. It features a fire pit, boat ties, and a covered pavilion with seating. To create the right look and feel, the Splinter Creek owners turned to Phoenix, Arizona-based firm Construction Zone.

"The concept for the porch came through several site visits with Splinter Creek's owners to gain a larger understanding for their goals for the property as a whole," says Matt Muller, a partner with the firm.

Designed to be a gathering place in all seasons, residents and friends enjoy the fire pit even in the cooler months.

"Many people have a front porch for their house. This is the front porch for the community." -- Matt Muller, Construction Zone

"We start looking at the peninsula as place to have a large fire pit," Muller says. "As we spent time on the site, paying attention to the winds, sun and seasons, we realized the zone near the tree line was a nice sheltered space that was a good counterpoint to fire pit. We then developed the linear porch and positioned it along the tree line as the ‘threshold’ from the forest walk path to the fire pit exposed on the peninsula."

The structure, materials and form are akin to the Boathouse (seen across the lake), but modified enough that the porch structure takes on its own identity.

"It's place for people to gather, sit on a chair, have a cocktail, watch the sunset, sunrise, stars, grab a blanket, sit next to the fire," Muller says. "Many people have a front porch for their house. This is the front porch for the community."

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