House in a hill

Blacksburg, Virginia

A wooded mountain side facing south provides the site for this small house. The project began as a study of walls, floors and stairs composed on a hill. A matrix of ten fourteen foot cubes provide an underlying order revealed by the placement of planes that create upper and lower levels. Holes in these planes create spaces which extend both horizontally and vertically. A long stair descends the hill to the entry at the lower level.

The idea of a house was introduced as a second stage. Two vaults cover two steel framed cubes placed at the upper level contrasting the solid concrete planes and capping the interior spaces of the house. The house grows out of the hill. The kitchen is the most earthbound space containing a fireplace and bathroom. The common dining/living room extends to the forest through a large square pivot window facing south. The entry stair descends to this level. An outdoor courtyard west of the dining room contains stairs which lead to the upper level. The steel and glass enclosed bedroom space looks onto a rolling meadow. A bridge spanning the two story dining space leads to an open terrace nestled in the tall green forest with views to the valley below.