This retreat home is located on Lake Chatuge, which straddles the North Carolina-Georgia state line.
The exterior of the structure is inspired by the verticality of the surrounding trees and the interior provides a restful
environment from which the outdoors can be enjoyed.
The design of the home considers the Dogtrot
house, a vernacular dwelling from the Southern U.S. which historically consists of two cabins (one for cooking and dining
and the other for bedrooms) with a breezeway between them. The combination of the breezeway and operable windows
create air currents which pull cooler outside air into the living quarters. For the Dogtrot Update: Vertical,
each of the main spaces of the home – Kitchen, Art Studio, Bedroom, and Office – are stacked in section rather
than sprawling in plan. This allows the nearly 1600 square feet of interior space and an additional 800 square feet
of exterior decks to take up only a 650 square foot footprint. Open riser alternating stairs permit views and
breezes at a reduced footprint than typical.
The natural canopy of leaves provides the
initial shelter from the sun. The major passive energy strategy for the home is the use of Trombe walls.
The void created between the corrugated glass (which helps to enhance the verticality of the design and also references the
corrugated metal roofs of local vernacular buildings) and the concrete structure of the building itself is used to help with
heating and cooling.
The interior of the home is designed to be simple, open, and clean. The first level is accessed
via a bridge which enters onto a porch extending the entire length of the house.
second level is a loft studio space open to the Living Room below. The north wall opens completely onto a deck, doubling
the amount of work space. A daybed is built-in for daytime relaxing or overnight guests. A full bathroom and storage
space are hidden behind a wall clad in reclaimed wood.
Level three is completely open-air, inspired
directly by the breezeways of the Dogtrot house. This affords spectacular views of the surroundings as well as visual
connection to decks on levels below.
The Master Suite Level features a large deck,
clothes closet, laundry closet, and full, spa-like bathroom. Aligned windows and doors not only allow breezes to flow
through but also frame views to the exterior.
The top floor is the office and library.
Built-in shelves are designed to be consistent with the vertical theme. Another daybed, full bathroom, and sliding screens
to close off the view to the Master Bedroom allow this room to also be used by guests.
The Dogtrot Update:
Vertical project was included in the SITE UNSEEN exhibit at the Spruill Gallery in Dunwood, Georgia from June 10 to July
23, 2011. A review of the exhibit by Catherine Fox of the Atlanta Journal Constitution can be seen here: