Steller House

This new house is the dream project of a retired man living on 40 acres, with spectacular views of the mountains.  The client had several important aspirations: every room would have a view and direct outdoor access; the bedrooms would be separated from the public spaces; the kitchen would be separated from the living / dining room to control noise and mess, while still providing space for friends to gather; the house would be one story for optimal accessibility as he aged; and the house would have eaves to protect the walls from the elements.

 

The L-shaped design capitalizes on the views and separates the public and private spaces.  The living room and dining room feature expansive windows which wrap around three sides of the house; the butterfly roof projects upwards, creating an open, spacious living room.  The bedrooms are located at the far end of the house for maximum privacy.  In the bedroom wing, the butterfly roof changes direction to give the rooms a greater sense of intimacy and refuge.  The study and kitchen each create transitions from public to private spaces.  In these transitional spaces, the floor plan and roof change direction so that the natural light takes on a magical quality, changing dramatically over the course of the day and the year.

Since the primary view is towards the north, the hall runs along the southern wall next to the road.  Clerestory windows tucked under the eaves bring in wonderful natural light.  In summer, direct light does not enter the hall on hot days; in winter the sun drops below the eaves, facilitating solar heat gain when it’s needed most.
 
The garage and mudroom are also on the south side, nearest the road.  This location provides convenient access, while acting as a buffer from the road and summer heat.  When a visitor enters the main doors, they find themselves in a large mudroom with low ceilings which creates a feeling of compression.  This provides a contrast to what they encounter entering the house, as the hall ahead provides a glimpse of the view out of the end of the living room. 
 
The three components: public space, private space and utility (mudroom and garage) are also expressed at the exterior, through the plan and the roof layout.  The roof changes direction in each area, creating visual interest on both the interior and exterior.
Photography: Kuoh Photography