These sketches represent my ﬁrst impressions and subsequent mental pictures of a new 2,500-square-foot home our studio will be designing on a large lot overlooking a tidal estuary. The drawings are unique in that they are ﬁnished renderings and the ﬁrst design drawings based only on vignettes that developed in my mind as I walked and talked with the owners. My ﬁrst thought was that the space at the top of their hill would be deﬁned primarily by a ceiling overhead and a heavy wall behind. It is a concept that occurred to me on a previously unbuilt project for a similar piece of land and was later clariﬁed for me by visiting a famous house in the Midwest.
From that point in my mind, a kitchen took shape that would ﬂow out gradually into a rugged but serene landscape. An entry developed that was hidden behind heavy walls or accessed from a garage with one glass wall to water views (think of Ferris Bueller’s friend Cameron’s house). The ﬂoors of each room gently terraced with the slope of the hill and had varying textures from cool, rough, local granite to plush wool carpets.
The development of the design of this house starts entirely with the land and the interior environment. Four or six weeks into thinking about this house, I still have no interest in discussing the exterior look or style. The owners have not seen these drawings, and as I look at them, it occurs to me that they need something more feminine. That will be for the next iteration.”
—Words and Drawings by Caleb Johnson
Architect: Caleb Johnson Studio
Design Team: Caleb Johnson, David Duncan Morris, Jason Colpitts
Builder: Carpenter & MacNeille
Construction start: Fall 2020