What once was blank paper... The site for the house is at the eastern end of a ridge that stops abruptly at a 100 foot drop into the river (more like a creek) below. We pulled out our compass and found due east and west to make the long facade toward the southern sun. This places the house off the edge of a flattish knoll and off into the trees. The buildable site is small, since I start getting nervous about the land getting too steep for secure foundations. We get some spectacular views to the north and east where I do not mind big glass.
The knoll allows a yard for dogs and kids at an upper level of the house, while the logical road access can find its way to a lower level carport that allows prevalent breezes through the building to the decks to the north. Knowing all this site information gives us plenty room to play with the design.
We want a simple roof and cozy rooms, but intricate detailing. It is important to bring in lots of southern light to brighten the forest and amaze. This may be home and work and home school in addition to all the gardens we plan.
While the house is mostly one long hallway facing the view, the keeping room has become two overlapping squares to make three distinct spaces: kitchen, dining, and living. Homage is paid to Frank Lloyd Wright and Schindler and IM Pei as well as others. Always credit the giants whose shoulders you stand on.