Monday, June 21, 2010

Tennessee House Starts Construction

Just after the beginning of this year I was contacted by a former client about a new project.  Almost exactly 10 years ago we were completing the design and moving into construction on his Lake House, which he still owns in northern Indiana.

Several years ago, he and his girlfriend purchased 28 acres in east Tennessee, south of Knoxville, and were now ready to put a house there, to which to escape the cold northern Indiana winters.

After a relatively quick initial design phase, followed by a couple of heart-wrenching (for me - and, I think, for them) false starts with different contractors, the house started construction today.  This is a major milestone for me, and I am convinced that this house represents my best work to date.

The new house will be added to a building that has a 3-car garage with a little studio/guest room that they built shortly after occupying the property.  This existing garage building is on the edge of a gentle hill, with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the south and east.  It is also right next to the barn.  A small shed appended to the barn will be demolished, to give a little more space between the two structures.

Let's have a tour of the property:

Here is a view of the garage/studio building that already exists, to which we are adding.  To the left you can just see the barn (which will stay) and shed that will be removed, right behind that cute Beetle convertible. 

This building is oriented to the cardinal directions and we are looking northwest in this view.  The large windows in the corner towards us have those great views I was talking about earlier.  That room will become the kitchen in the new house.  The new house will be built to the east or to the right of the garage building in the photo above (the garage doors are on the other side.)  All the main rooms will take advantage of the spectacular views.

The view above is looking in the same direction but standing on the other side of the garage.  The house behind the trees over yonder is the cramped 3-bedroom, 1,000 square foot house that Mr. and Ms. Client are living in now.  It will become the bunk house.  You can't really see it in this view, but the drive into the property from the main road comes up through a little valley between the future bunk house there and the new house.

The view below is looking west and you can see the cool silo next to the barn.

Can you make out those furry critters to the left of the barn and silo?

It's a veritable armada of donkeys!  They all have clever names like Guffman, Pootwaddle, Sulley, Fidgit, and others that I can't remember.  The animals are Ms. Client's project.  She rescues donkeys and horses.  Apparently there are lots of abandoned horses out there.  Who knew?  She takes them in and fosters them, and eventually finds them new homes.

So here is the view to the south, from standing on the north side of the garage.  That's Mr. Client in the edge of the picture.  By later this year, if you stand here, you will be looking right at the front door.  Below is an overall site plan to give you the big picture.  (This does not encompass the entire 28 acres.  The area shown is probably about a quarter or a fifth of the entire property.)

And here are a couple more views of the views:

This (above) is the view to the south.  The kitchen, dining, living rooms and sun room will all look out on this.  So will the south end of the mezzanine and the south roof deck off the mezzanine (which is above the sun room.)

This (again, above) is the view to the east.  The sun room and bedrooms look out on this view.  You can also see this from the south roof deck.

Today they laid out and staked the outline of the addition.  These photos were all taken when I visited the farm at the end of January.  I will post more this week with some drawings and images of the new design.

Stay tuned!


  1. That is some gorgeous country! I hope the project goes well.

  2. Yes indeed, a site with tremendous potential. I look forward to seeing what you make of it. :-)