Modern Gibson Island home has 'treehouse' feel

On Gibson Island, where no two homes are alike, a magnificent 1960s modern house sits on 1.8 acres of wooded property at the highest point in the area, and is on the market for $1.29 million.

Often referred to as the "treehouse," 703 Skywater Road was designed by Ulrich Franzen, a German-born architect who began his career with famous architect I. M. Pei. The home's exterior composition features glass, steel and stone.

The open interior features a mahogany ceiling throughout, a massive stone fireplace, walnut built-in shelves and doors, slate and ceramic tile flooring, glass walls, and vintage St. Charles steel kitchen cabinets (the same used by Frank Lloyd Wright in his Pennsylvania masterpiece, Fallingwater). The living space totals 2,826 square feet.

A circular drive leads from the road to the main level. Inside, a stone and slate foyer sweeps into several especially large spaces that include a master suite and bath, enormous living area, dining area, kitchen, butler's pantry, laundry and guest bedroom. Two exterior balconies, as well as glass walls lining the home's periphery, offer magnificent wooded views, while sloping gardens are virtually maintenance-free.

Wooden panels between the living areas were added by the current owners to display elegant Japanese tapestries. Removing the four screws per panel would restore the main level to its completely open layout. The bedrooms and kitchen are separated by stone partitions topped by glass panels.

A second driveway leads to the home's lower level, with its indoor resistance swimming pool and pool area, a den/library with built-in shelving units, a second fireplace, a game and exercise room and a third bedroom with bathroom. There is also access to a carport. An indoor elevator from level to level is an additional convenience.

"Every time I'm in this house, I like it more and more," said listing agent Ellie Shorb with Coldwell Banker. "I see the benefits of living where everything is open and bright; you feel like you're one with nature and the outdoors."

The specs

Address: 703 Skywater Road, Gibson Island 21056

List price: $1.29 million

Year built: 1962

Taxes: $16,083

Listing agent: Ellie Shorb, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

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