rusty metal house
On a high exposed site, surrounded by spectacular distant views, the apparently casual assemblage of somewhat agricultural, simple geometric shapes that make up the rusty metal house belie an underlying formality. Discrete elements form loosely the shape of an “x” and combine with an adjacent grove of cottonwoods to create a variety of outdoor spaces each with its own unique quality and strong sense of place.
The 7500 SF house is designed to accommodate a family of four, some guests, and a caretaker as well as display an extraordinary collection of contemporary art. With pragmatic directness and in the rural tradition of “big house, little house, back house, barn” the physical form of the house directly reflects its program. The large gabled center section contains on the first floor the entrance, kitchen, and family room connected by a dramatic stairway up to an open gallery and master bedroom suite. From this center portion radiate the children’s wing, the living room connected by a dining room gallery, and the caretaker unit connected by the garage. The radial plan brings the entrance, garage, stairway, and kitchen together for maximum efficiency, while providing privacy and variety for the appendages.
With an exterior that provides a protective-sheltering carapace that evokes the iron oxide of the red cliffs in the background, the interior is a series of linked simple white spaces punctuated with exaggerated domestic icons. A bright red door marks the entrance. Immense rust-red stones create the hearth, its chimney towering over the house. A twelve-foot wide black ebonized cherry stairway ascends to the surrounding second story gallery. Throughout the house a delicate balance is maintained between windows for the dramatic views and the walls, naturally lit with natural diffuse light for the art.