Edge-trans-form is a rethinking of the original Edge House, which was changed because of the owner’s increased family size. Since a redesign was underway, the owner decided to incorporate sustainable elements into the house’s materials, ventilation, and siting. The house, located at an edge where the wildness of nature and the human-dimension of design meet, was articulated with this sort of fusing in mind.
The project acts as a benign educational experience for its frequent visitors, offering a heightened appreciation of the landscape. The main entrance is above, through an open grassy meadow surrounded by thick trees. From here, the house is hardly visible, only the north-facing clerestory walls that run the length of the project can be seen. To reach the entry, one travels down a set of steps cut into the shale hillside. At the bottom is a large east-west covered area, looking south over the lake. Here the visitor is on axis with a footbridge that extends across a small water inlet.
Looking back from the south, the east end of the home rests against a high shale bluff. Here, the living and dining wing cantilevers out over the lake where a water grass garden is located. There is a series of cast-in-place concrete walls just beneath the water’s surface, providing growing places for a variety of water plants, another subtle teaching tool that attracts different kinds of wildlife. Over-scaled steps from the kitchen/eating area lead directly into the lake, further adjoining the house to the water.
The building responds to what the site offers and serves as an extension of what is already there, critically restructuring, reconstituting, and rearranging it, so that the human-made and the natural are unifed.