What the Client Wanted:

A Single family home adjacent to their horse ranch. The site has commanding views of the horse barn and surrounding grassy hills.


Design Strategy/Solution:

Our design strategy was centered on a continuous masonry wall. The wall has several purposes both functional and metaphorical.

Functionally the wall serves as a thermal mass absorbing the suns heat energy during the day and releasing that energy at night. There are several projections and overhangs to reduce this effect during the summer months along with a variety of fenestrations and vertical spaces allowing natural ventilation. The wall is aligned with large power lines that were the only obstacle to the bucolic nature of the property.

The power lines separate the home from the view of the horse barn and rolling hills. The wall was carefully designed and fenestrated to block out the view of the power lines to the greatest extent possible while allowing framed views of the landscape. Additionally, the wall acts as an organizing element to the homes circulation. One enters and traverses the home along the wall offering a since of familiarity and security.

We were able to use the wall to cut the sloped site and create an undulating experience as the home addresses the tree line and reflects the natural flowing river beyond the tree line. Metaphorically the wall offers a since of security and refuge.

Mystery is created as one approaches and experiences the wall through the various projections creating interest. Points of prospect are provided through carefully placed points of projection through the wall framing views.



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Design Sketches/Plan:


A real building is one on which the eye can light and stay lit.

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