Contemporary Bluff House


An incredible site was the prime generator of form for this custom residence. A mildly sloping plateau extends about two hundred feet from the road before dropping substantially, exposing layers of limestone. The house is positioned on this bluff edge. A commanding view of the Tennessee River fixes its orientation.

Patios and walks surround the house, transition between interior and exterior spaces, and invite outdoor activity. The servant spaces extend along the street side and contain strategically placed windows. The resulting elongated form of the house provides an open plan, abundant light and views, and good cross ventilation. The roof forms extend well beyond the exterior walls, opening toward the sky and creating a sculptural play of conventional and butterfly roof forms.

The architect employed a design strategy of creating contemporary forms using conventional methods and materials. Composite panels and corrugated steel clad a wood framed skeleton. Gypsum board interior walls, with minimal interior trim, sculpt the interior space. Doors extend to eight feet, which is also the ceiling height in many of the rooms. Careful detailing results in thoroughly contemporary interior spaces.

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