I visited the house on Friday and took a bunch of new photos. There is much finish work to complete yet this was my first time walking through the nearly complete house. Now that the interior is well along, and the exterior and site also nearing the end of the work the house is revealing its qualities. Its always pleasant to see and experience the spaces that you have been so long in planning.
There were so many things that struck me upon visiting the house that I'm not sure where to start. The first thing I encountered upon arriving was the new earth form resulting from the backfill over the septic system. Although the final grade has not yet been established around the house, the rough grading is done and the house finally sits on the ground in a way that makes sense, straddling the ridge resulting from the fill required at the septic system. This was one odd characteristic of the site - the septic system occupies the highest point on the site because it was the most favorable location for its function. This is what ultimately drove us to convert the house from a two story configuration to a 1 story with the lower level day-lit on either end of the house. It is essentially two stories, but now we were building only two instead of 3 stories.
The cladding of the house is complete although the painting of the siding areas is not done. But the house has largely the look and feel it will when complete. What reads very strongly now is the reflection of the layering of space inside the house as it exerts itself on the facades. Early in the design process the owner was very interested in houses that had a dynamic and varied exterior envelope. Overlapping volumes, and compositions that appeared to be a compilation of related parts. That notion guided the sensibility of the design from early on and now as its nearly done that is showing through. At the front each individual space within becomes an element of the facade. As you move around the house to the back the house envelops and creates an outside room at the rear deck.
Inside the volume of the house returns the gesture. Essentially in what is a wide open floor plan the envelope of the house defines distinct places, the kitchen with a high ceiling lit by high windows, the dining area with a lower ceiling and pushing out of the front wall, the living space removed from the front wall by circulation and an intimate reading space. See more in the photo browser below.