Throughout the mountains of western North Carolina, derelict farmhouses occupy the rural landscapes inherent to the region. Their crumbling ruins echo a bygone era, one that was progressive, prosperous, and sustainable. Situated on 2.3 acres of meadow, Farmhouse Redux was one of these forgotten dwellings, the original home to early settlers of a rural area outside of Boone that was left to decay and slowly disappear from its context. Conceptually and literally, the house has been brought back to life; it has been renovated yet revisits the idea of what a farmhouse can be.
This project reinterprets the stereotype inherent to mountain cabins. Designed for an Interior Design professor with a large collection of mid-century modern furnishings and a preference for austere aesthetics, the cabin blends vernacular elements with simple, modern design. Only 650 heated square feet of space, the shed-roofed cabin stands as a model of affordable design and construction through its minimal footprint, use of indigenous materials, maximization of volume, and multi-use components.
Resurrected from the ruins of a decayed mountain shack, this renovation project serves is located on a small farm in western North Carolina. Rather than demolishing the existing decrepit dwelling, the main structure was reused, reinforced, and reclad both inside and out. The gutted shell served as a spatial boundary for the reconfigured interior, with an open deck off the rear as the only addition to the house. Reinterpreting the gaps between the original plank board cladding, the new open rainscreen siding serves as a protective skin that is carved out for framed extrusions and window openings as necessary.
Nestled in a mountain hollow with a creek and small pond, the Bridge House acknowledges the site’s abundance of flowing water as well as the clients’ desire to live in an “old mountain camp.” Even more important to the clients was the inclusion of another vernacular element: a dogtrot. As a response to these desires, the house programmatically disassembles into a series of buildings, two of which are connected by a bridge, which serves as the conceptual link in the project. The concept of bridging is manifested both literally and metaphorically within the reinterpreted mountain camp.
By definition, an edge is a place where something begins or ends. Sited at the boundary of the city’s beltline loop freeway, this house occupies the edge – not only by geographic location, but because of the immediate site and building concept. Located at a topographical fringe, the land of the site itself is a steep cliff, thus an edge. Given such a context, the project responds formally as a structure on the brink; it is rooted to the site using a series of parallel walls or edges that terrace the landscape, allowing habitation of a once derelict parcel of land. Like many buildings with a modern aesthetic, the Edge House is on the verge of being familiar and different.
Comprised of 1600 heated square feet, Spec House 001 is situated on a virtually unbuildable lot that includes a very steep slope and a limited buildable area. The awkward constraints coupled with the minimal budget forced the design to be simple. As a result, the plain form finds expression through the elimination of finished layers, which reveal built-up wooden trusses, columns, and beams. Clad in local white pine siding and corrugated Galvalume roofing, the three bedroom and three bath house abstracts rural vernacular elements and forms in an effort to be contextual as well as affordable .
The inspiration for this project derived from a vernacular agriculture building used as a shelter for sheep and other animals: the fold. A fold is essentially a walled enclosure or a lean-to type structure that often grows out of the earth; it is a very practical building that is no more than it needs to be. The Fold House is a personification of this notion and is a response to our primitive nature as humans to create a basic shelter from the indigenous resources and culture of an area, which is seen in the simplicity of the structure, its minimized footprint, and material selection.
This project provides an inspiring place for a world-renown daylily gardener to work and play. As one experiences the new woodland garden via paths and trails, surprises abound. The concept was to create a minimalistic response full of framed views, intense aromas, contrasting colors, and beautiful objects in concentrated areas. The new experience is a journey that includes places of pause and reflection; paths of serenity and contrast; and indigenous vegetation.
The Meadow House pays homage to the indigenous farmsteads of the region though its program, massing, and connectivity. Composed as a compound of buildings, which include a modest farmhouse, a work/storage building, and a greenhouse/garden shed, this modern interpretation of a homestead allows the meadow to flow through it via dogtrot, which serves as an entry, viewing portal, and outdoor living space. The main house – clad in corrugated metal and oriented along an east/west axis – acts as a wide-angled lens for viewing the meadow and the neighboring valley to the south.
To merge with its locale, this studio and gallery acknowledges the typical outbuilding of the region, the tobacco barn. Although programmatically different, the building abstracts and reinterprets the materials as well as formal elements of the building type with a modern approach. Constructed from a built-up nominal lumber superstructure, the simple gable building with a “lean-to” shed attached is clad with a galvanized 5V roof and siding wrapper. Balloon framed end walls are sheathed with a composition of green rolled asphalt and corrugated fiberglass, while roll-up glass doors allow access to exterior space under a roof tied down with chains.