The owners wanted a home that would “look like it grew out of the ground." Organic and earthy, the design should feature the beauty of the outdoors in every room. The home would have native prairie and forest views, but also needed a sheltered area to protect the owners' more delicate and delectable plants from the local wildlife. The home was to have an open floor plan with a first floor master suite, while the basement contained extra living/sleeping space for visits from kids and grandkids. The home should be a model of sustainability.
The best views were the the north and east but the southern sun needed to be captured to radiate throughout the house. The high ceilings and open floor plan made for a light and breezy feeling in the main living area, while the views of outside created a green backdrop. More intimate spaces in the home have lower ceilings to create a sense of peace and place.
Geothermal energy would heat and cool the home. As the design unfolded, it became evident that the home would have a lot of corners and areas of differential ceiling heights. Efficiency of the home's walls and roof, so critical to heating with geothermal energy, would be compromised unless we addressed heat loss by both convection and conduction. As the interior takes shape, we are beginning to address material selections.
The home is full of visual delights and functions perfectly for two people – and also for larger gatherings. With no thresholds, wide hallways and only one step into the home, it is stylish and ready for future comfort when mobility is limited. The home’s organic form and earthy materials complement the surroundings and the native landscape. The home is as comfortable as it is energy efficient.