The 22-acre site offers unique vistas: wooded ravine to east, lake to south, coniferous trees to west planted by WPA in 1930s, and original farmstead to the northwest. A winding drive turns to view these features. In winter, corn stands along the drive as a windbreak, color edge, and wildlife food. The lake becomes visible only when you move around and through the house. The land is farmed with a transition of prairie grasses and wildflowers between fields and house.
The design reflects elements from where the client previously lived. From California, spaces which unfold as you progress through the house. Day lit spaces with softened corners and circular motifs from New Mexico, while living and working with the Navajo. From childhood homes, natural materials.
The exterior is clad with golden and grey shingle siding, and Mankato Kasota stone reflecting golden hues of field corn. The stone wraps around the house recalling the stone base at the barn. Prairie influences of horizontal lines, curvilinear forms and plant motifs carry through the house.
The front of the house is intentionally understated. The slight curve of the entry portico plays against the straight lines of the house. As you move around the house, the geometric forms and circular core is evident. The stair wedge pushes through the roof as a look-out tower. The main fireplace wedge is a wall of stone that visually unifies the interior and exterior. Interior windows provide translucent layers, and images of wildflowers repeat in glasswork of front door, wall sconces and pendant lights.