This hilltop residence, located at the edge of a wooded knoll in the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, has expansive southern and western views. Approaching the house through these woods, one arrives at a striking single story façade of corten steel in a wood frame. A hint of the views is provided through the glass door, but it is not until entry that the full impact of the hilltop views can be experienced. The rear glass walls, which face West and South, are shielded by large overhangs and open to rolling farmland below and the mountains beyond. The north façade is heavily insulated and oriented away from primary views acting as a barrier to northerly winds. By implementing passive solar controls and natural cross ventilation, sun penetration is maximized during the winter, which provides both natural heat and light.
Architect: Eric Gartner
Country: United States
The entry level serves as the primary living area comprised of living, dining, kitchen, study and master bedroom suite. A two-bedroom guest wing with a media room is carved into the hilltop one level below. Functionality and energy efficiency are achieved both by this programmatic zoning, which allows the lower level to be shut down during periods when there are no guests. The efficiencies of the layout are supplemented by careful choice of materials, fixtures, fittings, and energy systems.
Building Systems include the use of a geothermal field that greatly reduces energy consumption and costs associated with heating and cooling of the house. The house also has a rainwater collection system that collects 80% of water that falls on the rooftops and re-uses it for both toilets and landscaping needs. A green roof is incorporated over the guest wing to reduce water run-off, provide high insulation values and enhance the vistas from the upper level. By planting native and climate-adapted species in this drought resistant landscape, irrigation needs were dramatically reduced, and the use of permapavers on both the entry walk and green roof allow the rainwater that hits these surfaces to percolate through the material into the ground.
Materials include corten steel entry façade, cumaru wood siding, decks and interior floors, painted and stained oak and birch veneer cabinetry. All window systems and appliances and building system equipment are energy-star rated and lighting includes energy-efficient LED, fluorescent and low-voltage lighting throughout.