Casa 34°58′ N, 83°20′ W is the result of a land swap between the Owners of Casa Sky Valley (a 2009 AIA Award winning project in a valley setting), when the next-door neighbors offered a mountain top lot in an even exchange for not having Casa Sky Valley built next to them.
The land exchange allowed for the design of a 2,240 s.ft., 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath mountain top vacation house with stunning views to the west-southwest, of sunset filled afternoons in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia. Secondary benefits like sunlight, cellular reception and protection from nor’easters winds in the winter, made the “exchange” a no-brainer.
The Casa 34°58′ N, 83°20′ W site is approached from the top, as the road is at the ridge of Ridgepole Mountain, and the property slopes downward to the west/southwest at about a 40-degree slope.
Conceptually, the design occupies its place on the land by floating on pilotis, away from the road, separated by the natural slope of the land. A perforated metal wall (plane) separates/connects the structure from the road and becomes the formal demarcation between public and private. Reachable only by portions of the perforated metal wall (plane) that fold down and act as a “bridge/connector” for auto parking and front door access, the structure is secured by the metal wall (plane) when stored vertically, creating a moat-like gap for security when house is not in use.
Concurrently, the front perforated metal wall (plane) camouflages the structure behind on the site by having a graphic silhouette of trees (as homage to trees that formerly stood in the place the structure now occupies), making the building seem to fade into the forested horizon beyond.
Organizationally, public spaces (right) and private spaces (left) of the house are linked/separated physically upon entering, by an outdoor courtyard/patio with a cantilevered spa/pool, that overlooks an unending vista of the southwestern sunsets of mountains and horizon beyond. This courtyard/patio, with existing trees allowed to pierce through the deck, serves as a place of al fresco celebrations, adding an “outdoor” room to public and private spaces, benefit from the stunning views from the+3,250 ft. elevation, looking over the town of Dillard, Georgia below.
The Great Room has direct access to the central patio and spa, with picture window walls of the view. The Bedroom Suites are repetitive in design, conceived to have views, even from the bathrooms, separated from bedrooms by only a glass partition. All suites have wood-burning fireplaces, private sun deck balconies and additional “bunk-bed” alcoves for guests with children.
The back facade of Casa 34°58′ N, 83°20′ W is clad with photovoltaic panels collecting solar power year-round, so that even when not in use, selling power back to Georgia Power, minimizing the expenditures of this vacation home and it’s energy uses for the future.
Casa 34°58′ N, 83°20′ W quietly occupies the heavily wooded sloping site it sits on, with the least disruption to its natural setting, while celebrating its unique context, solar orientation and magnificent views.