The James River House is a riverside retreat, designed as a place for three young boys to grow and learn from their surroundings.
There is an almost 1/2 mile long drive through the wooded site before arriving at the studio/garage, where visitors leave their cars and walk to the house, providing a feeling of hiking into the house and slowly removing them from city life.
The house itself is a collection of three distinct volumes, each serving its own function. The kitchen and the living room occupies the central volume, while the attached structure houses a bedroom for the parents, as well as a bedroom for the kids with eight built-in beds for the boys and their friends.
The three volumes of the house hover above a bluff alongside a bend in the James River, arranged loosely and lightly on the land like a scattered group of stones around a campfire. The arrangement of these volumes allows the visitor to slip between and through the house, opening the view to reveal light, river, and the woods.
The quiet yet open interior is built around a large and flexible gathering space that can be intimate, expansive, interior, or exterior. Flanked by sleeping quarters, this central living area is at once hearth, tree house, and dining hall and is the nexus of activity for the family and the three boys who fill the house with light and motion.