AIA National Housing Design Award
AIA Gulf States Region – Merit Award
AIA Tennessee – Award of Excellence
AIA East Tennessee – Merit Award
Architectural Record Online – Featured House
Old Briar is a home in rural west Tennessee. The clients are a couple who, for career reasons, have lived in Chicago for the last twenty-five years. They are now retired and intend to spend much of each year in Lauderdale County, where they grew up. They envision this house being an anchor for their family and, particularly, a magnet for their grandchildren and generations yet to come. The site is 80 acres of productive agricultural land that is rotated between soybeans, winter wheat, and cotton. The clients are conscious of being stewards of this land and have already worked with the state department of natural resources to mitigate topsoil erosion; a significant problem in this part of the Lower Mississippi Basin. Accordingly, the house is placed fairly close to the road and avoids the steeper portions of the site. Nestled next to an existing hedgerow it engages two ponds that are important locations for gatherings of the couple’s family and friends. The house is rotated to mediate between optimal solar orientation and distant views.The clients wish for the home to not be ostentatious. In response, the form of the house is dominated by an asymmetrical gable roof that allows the living spaces to open up to vistas of the farm and provides an ideal slope for solar hot water panels on the south while, on the north, sloping down to present a humble face to the road. A wooden screen stretching along the north elevation provides privacy for the small pool and presents the image of a utilitarian agricultural structure upon approach.