River, pond, forest grove, wild flower garden and lush lawn are the views from this gorgeous rural home. Built into the side of a hill, the living spaces are organized as a series of fluid gathering places with large windows facing south, framing the views to the garden that become part of the landscape of the interior. The main floor accommodates the kitchen, living room, dining room and sunroom, with views to the north, south and east, ensuring good natural light throughout the day and a range of ever-changing scenes.
The house provides a choice of places to sit, work or relax, both inside and out. The garage and the main house are separate forms connected by a breezeway creating distinct outside areas for entertaining. The master bedroom also faces south with a deck running between it and the dining room. Additional spaces including offices are located on the lower level that open onto a patio.
Central to the design of this house is its rural community and the context of vernacular building forms including the farmhouse and the barn. These are referenced in the creation of its volumes including the vaulted ceiling above the main floor, where a scissor truss was utilized due to the relatively low budget.
Sustainable design practices were employed throughout the project including the relatively small house footprint, the excavation of the north side of the lower floor into the slope, careful building orientation to ensure cross ventilation in almost every room, and the creation of outdoor spaces on both the north and south sides of the house for use at different times of the day as well as season. All of this permitted the house to be smaller than it would have been otherwise, thereby providing energy savings without additional cost. Features such as the installation of an efficient HVAC system, a high level of wall and roof insulation, and interior finishes chosen for easy maintenance and long life span, combine to reduce the building’s environmental footprint.