Gandalf's Grayling Lake Lair

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David Leatherbarrow believes architecture and landscape architecture rely upon one another to form a single framework of meaning.  He regards landscape architecture and architecture as the 'topographical arts'.  [1]

We agree wholeheartedly.   Our architecture emerges from the landscape, so our pre-design study of the land our clients will dwell on begins to influence and shape the architecture well before the genesis of any specific design concepts.  This work happened in the initial phase of our work that we refer to as 'research' - our initial, critical engagement with any project, where we listen intently to our client and their land.

The most significant design decisions in architecture will be those that determine how the project is resolved as an intervention on the land. The design of more transitory elements (such as structure, materials, finishes, furniture, or artifacts) have value and importance in their own right, both as elements of design and as components of architectural solutions, but should be prioritized within a hierarchically clarified context.  In our work, the most important single drawing in a full set of design drawings is typically the site plan. [2]

In this instance, the landscape is directly influencing design concepts responding to the topography, views, solar orientation, interior spatial relationships, proximity to neighbors and a community drive, pragmatic considerations such as existing and proposed utilities, and the input of neighbors who favor discreet massing blending into the land.   

Concept V1.0 was our initial inquiry into the influences of topography on form; Concept V2.0 was a refinement of that study after client feedback.  The current concept - V2.4 - represents the current floor plan at the conclusion of the first phase of design.  From here, we begin to methodically evaluate the detailing of every aspect of each space, inside and out.   

This home will be designed and built to the German Passivhaus standard, for optimal comfort, interior air quality, and ease of ownership.

[1] Topographical Stories
[2] Building Legacy Architecture