Sited along a wide tidal creek facing south, this personal home for a long standing local builder is designed to capture views from all bedrooms and living spaces through its use of a cruciform plan with a center tower at the crossing of the two arms. Broad eaves in excess of three feet deep around the entire house are used to shed the hurricane rains which frequent the region. This roof is a low profile hip to buffet the wind from all directions. A 24 foot wide porch on the creek-side of the house is linked to the crossing by a catwalk on both sides to always provide an outdoor “Lee-side” no matter which way the wind blows.
From a distance, the form and materials of the building appear to be very traditional, but upon closer inspection the more modern detailing and geometry are revealed with cable-stayed cantilevered catwalks, continuously flowing trim boards, and uniformity of the detailing throughout the house. This results in an overall vernacular design with very subtle contemporary touches which suit the clients’ tastes in art and architecture. Masterfully crafted site-built heavy timber trusses outfitted with marine-grade galvanized bolts and dock washers enhance the effect of the maritime aesthetic. Interior walls of main spaces are decked and clad in wood, creating the effect of a building which may at once long ago been open-air before being enclosed in glass.
Materials such as wood for floors/ walls reclaimed from the bottom of the Cape Fear River, timbers salvaged from a warehouse in the owners’ home town, deep shading eaves, reflective metal roofs, low-e insulated glass, and careful attention to site runoff with retention ponds and rain gardens give the home an environmental conscience. Plans for the home included a handicapped accessible ground level, complete with space for a ramp in the garage, ADA designed bathrooms with roll-in showers, and wider doors with low thresholds.