Wayne Andersen has long been an architecture buff and admirer of Frank Lloyd Wright. So it should come as no surprise that the physician, author and co-founder of Take Shape For Life, a healthy living program, had a few ideas of his own when he set out to build a new home near Annapolis to share with wife Lori and their two teenage daughters. “We love the water and are avid sailors,” says Andersen, who owns a 54-foot yacht. “It was my dream to keep the boat at my house.”
After a long search, the Andersens finally came across a three-and-a-half-acre parcel located next to a working winery on Harness Creek, a Chesapeake Bay tributary. “The lot was perfect; it’s on a protected creek and looks across to a nature preserve,” says architect Cathy Purple Cherry, who showed the property to the couple with a mutual friend in real estate. “What Wayne was most excited about was that he could see the water and the vineyard at the same time.”
The Andersens hired Purple Cherry—an expert in critical area building—to design a residence that could host company events as well as be a magnet where their daughters’ friends “would want to come over and be with us rather than going out,” explains Andersen. To realize the vision, he and Purple Cherry assembled an experienced team that included Bret Anderson of Pyramid Builders, interior designer Arlene Critzos of Interior Concepts and Kevin Campion of Campion Hruby Landscape Architects.
Andersen wanted the residence to embrace Frank Lloyd Wright’s tenet that a structure should be in harmony with its surroundings. “Wayne hoped that when you approached the house, it would seem as though it grew out of the ground, and when you walked into it, that the ‘wow’ views of the water and land would be more powerful than the structure itself,” Purple Cherry explains. This concept drove everything from the architectural plans to the organic material palette to the interior design.
Christened “Aqua Terra” by Andersen, the completed three-level, 10,000-square-foot house salutes the outdoors with a seamless marriage of interior and exterior spaces. Like Mother Nature, it also displays dramatic wonders of its own. Consider the floating, three-story staircase engineered from glass, steel and wood. Or the mahogany wine cellar and indoor resistance pool on the lower level. Or the three-part fireplace topped with mantel stones that weigh as much as a small car. Artwork and fossils collected by the Andersens on their travels were built into walls, niches and custom furniture.
With such a high level of detail and craftsmanship, the project mobilized scores of tradespeople. “The talent organized for this job was incredible,” says Pyramid’s Bret Anderson. “Even though we employ 50 of our own full-time craftsmen, we had to draw on additional resources. There were days when we had 30 carpenters here along with 20 masons.”
With construction underway, the design team planned the interiors. “This house is an example of how interior design should be the background to strong architecture,” designer Arlene Critzos observes. “The wood, the stone and all of the interior finishes told the story, and we filled in with pieces that would salute those selections but not take over. When we brought in color, it was the color of water, wind or earth—all the elements around us.”
Kevin Campion’s landscape program divides the property into four alluring gardens. There are meadows and rain gardens, a pool garden with a pavilion and a waterfront garden that brims with native grasses.
Since moving into the home in August, the Andersens have hosted two successful company summits with 150 attendees (Lori, a registered nurse, also works for Take Shape for Life). They find the house to be an ideal workplace. “It immediately puts people in a fluid, flexible, creative environment with the water and the sunlight coming through,” Andersen marvels.
The Andersens have also enjoyed family time indoors and out—and as they’d hoped, their daughters’ friends love to visit. Though the house boasts every luxury imaginable, it’s the surroundings that Wayne Andersen seems to appreciate most. “We wake up and can see mist coming off the water or bald eagles fishing,” he says. “Then we walk down the hall and see the vineyards. You’re caught in awe of how incredibly gorgeous it is, and I feel so blessed.”
Photographer David Burroughs is based in Annapolis.
ARCHITECTURE: CATHY PURPLE CHERRY, AIA, LEED AP, Purple Cherry Architects, Annapolis, Maryland. INTERIOR DESIGN: Arlene Critzos, principal; CATHERINE BELKOV, Interior Concepts, Annapolis, Maryland. BUILDER: BRET ANDERSON, principal; HERB SEVERN and James Guercio, project managers, Pyramid Builders, Annapolis, Maryland. LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE: KEVIN CAMPION, ASLA, Campion Hruby Landscape Architects, Annapolis, Maryland.