Wilkes-Barre, PA — One of the first residences designed by world-renowned architect Peter Bohlin in 1977 is now on the market in Waverly, Pennsylvania, for $1.3 million.
Peter Bohlin’s Wilkes-Barre firm, Bohlin Powell, was only ten years old when it gained national attention for a small summer home designed in 1975 for Bohlin’s parents. The New York Times Magazine The Home published Forest House on the cover of the September 1976 issue, applauding the Connecticut home’s excellent quality design and inexpensive material selection.
The NYT article also caught the attention of Dorrance and Susan Belin who were moving back east after meeting and working in San Francisco. Owning a wooded property in Waverly, Pennsylvania, similar to that of Forest House, they knew they too wanted to create a hidden retreat on their 26-acre property.
Much like Forest House, the Belin Residence was carefully sited within the landscape to maximize views with floor to ceiling glass blurring the distinction between indoors and out. The entire home was designed to use natural ventilation through careful placement of operable windows, improving air quality and passive cooling during the summer.
“We made it a place that was magic when you looked out into the surroundings, then we manipulated the interior space of the building to interrelate with that,” Bohlin says. “And so, there’s always some relationship to the outdoors, and the building is always pulling you a bit from place to place.”
Originally an 1800’s farm, the barn’s foundations were integrated into the design of the new home, including the original exterior door beneath the living room fireplace, the chicken run parallel to the parking trellis, and the pig troughs in the rear garden. Multiple renovations were completed over the years, including the addition of a new family room on the south end of the home and renovations to the kitchen and master bathroom.
“It’s not just a house plopped down in the woods,” Belin says. “But a house that you live in and experience everything about the joy of living here.”
After living in the residence for over 40 years, the Belins wished to relocate into a smaller home that accommodated their evolving needs but preserved the spirit of the house they created together. In 2017, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson began designing a second home for the couple, also located on the property, which is anticipated to finish construction this fall.
The original 5,108 square-foot residence is currently on the market for $1.3 million dollars and includes four bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, living room, family room, formal dining room, two fireplaces, and a two-car attached garage. The home is listed with Classic Properties under MLS #19–1968.
Video Production by Japhy Creative