WOODED HOUSE

Wooded House examines our relationship with wood as a resource. The design was conceived through exploration of what it means to be wooded: to have a view of the woods, to be placed in the woods, to be enveloped by wood. The use of railroad ties as a building material transforms an outmoded historical remnant into a revitalized resource. The design blends inside and outside while layering our experience with wood; tree trunks are abstracted and juxtaposed with books, and a single tree rises out of a stone courtyard with the backdrop of stacked railroad ties.

Jury comments: This was the best example of entries that sculpted or burrowed into the site—in this case by creating a gently terraced courtyard. The Wooded House reinterprets Wright’s Prairie Style houses in a more abstract language. There is a clear sense of regionalism in the design—it actually feels like Colorado. The material idea provides the very image and form of the building. The scheme is laudable for its integration of sustainability into the design while maintaining a quiet simplicity and without resorting to overly familiar techniques. The driveway is convenient to the street, but is read more as a landscape element than “driveway.” The jury appreciated the idea of reusing railroad ties.

The AIA Committee on Design conducted the New Home on the Range competition for an unbuilt, single-family house to challenge architects to design the 21st century seminal house. Based on the principle that the single-family dwelling is the testing ground for new design ideas, the competition asked entrants to explore the impact of their designs relative to sustainability, economics, and social issues. The program included a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, single-family house with a two-car garage, not exceeding 2,400 interior square feet and located on a 75′-0″ x 145′-0″, 1⁄4-acre lot somewhere near Denver, CO.  This design received 2nd place.