Situated on the edge of a contemporary suburban development, the client purchased a site flanked by views of a golf course and the Missouri River. A design that would interact gracefully with the landscape to unlock the potential of its views was requested by the client; subsequently, the design is a departure from the overwhelmingly popular idea in the area that a large footprint can (or is necessary to) capably capture vastness of one’s imagination. This project instead seeks to harbor quaint views and the amenities of modern living as a medium for an auspicious family life.
A palette of simple organic materials including: wood, slate, natural steel and glass were assembled to blend the vernacular language of the rural mid-western landscape with the building. The gentle interaction between the natural landscapes and the building began with the yard being framed with planted prairie grass and use of landscaping features that bled the boundaries of where the “landscape” ends and where the “building” begins. The drive-way /entry side of the house is clad in materials that are firm and offer a clear sense of privacy and street side protection to the relations going on inside. Contrastingly, the backyard side of the residence, clad in glass, is treated as an extension of the interior commons areas – a stage for exploration and performance.
Upon entering, a board-form concrete wall creates a central gallery (with forced views of the exterior and suitable surfaces for displaying art) that leads into the heart of the home – a kitchen/ hub area that overlooks the commons spaces (dining, living, and outdoor.) From this commons area the division of space becomes clear – the lively from the serene and the intimate from the distant. The board-form wall doubles as spatial point of reference and an instrument for dividing the private/ sleeping spaces for the adults from the children. For instance, the master suite retreats from the bustling living space to grant the patrons privacy and tranquil views of the river. Similarly, a steel staircase transitions from the public realm above to the children’s private play-space; while a sheet of opaque glass, that serves as the pantry floor, begs the young mind’s eye from this space to the events going on above. The design cohesively accepts and playfully stages the daily demands of the clients - in play, in rest, and in living as an interconnected family unit.