Located on acreage in rural Iowa, the Ravine Residence draws its inspiration from the topography and vegetation of its forested site to create an experience of living within the landscape. Its primary gesture, a transparent social space elevated in the tree canopy, bridges the ravine below, preserving this natural site feature and creating a strong datum that accentuates the topography. This social space serves as the core of the house, connecting the entry sequence on the west to the bedrooms on the opposite bank.
As the house wraps through the undulating site, it presents a collection of carefully curated experiences. Axial views intersect layers of nature and light, glass and wood. Crisp edges frame views of the house beyond, set against a backdrop of tree and sky. Fleeting reflections and expansive vistas blur the boundaries between interior and exterior. Rigorous detailing and a restrained material palette create a taught canvas for the play of light and shadow throughout the course of days and seasons. Through these experiences, a family engages in a mutable dialog between house and site.
The design team sought minimalist fixtures that would also allow the project to stay within budget. LED downlights from Cree Lighting and wall sconces with crystal glass accents were chosen to meet these needs. The result is a lighting scheme that blends with the architecture without exceeding the design budget parameters.
Photographer: Kelly Callewaert (BNIM)