Illinois Creek Ranch
Architects & Firms
Project size: 5,000 square feet
Program: Located on a historic farmstead in Wabaunsee County, Kansas, the Lockton Residence was designed for a family of five and their summer guests. The goal was to forge an emotional bond between people and a unique landscape. The residence’s six volumes are purposely straightforward in their vernacular appearance. The main structure is divided into four sections: garage, living and dining room, master bedroom, and children’s bedroom. Each section has a pitched roof—the distinguishing feature of the region’s barns and outbuildings—and they are linked together by two glass-enclosed breezeways with flat, planted roofs. The garage and children’s bedroom are angled outward, opening out to the living room and expansive views of the surrounding landscape. A pond sits at the bottom of the hill, with the other farm structure visible in the distance.
Location: Flint Hills of Alma, Kansas—the country’s last remaining tallgrass prairie.
Solution: The architects began by studying the topography, soil and hydrological conditions, and wind and sun patterns of the site. The building complex responds to site conditions: structures run parallel to the topography where the program is a single story, and perpendicular where it is multiple stories. The buildings strategically block wind to allow comfortable outdoor areas, while windows are positioned to allow passive cooling inside the home. The buildings’ positions take full advantage of seasonal solar heat gain.
Planted roofs are compressed to create emphasis on the landscape. Movement throughout the home is designed to engage a range of landscape experiences. Skylights are positioned to shift emphasis from horizontal to vertical, bringing the condition of the sky into the home. Volumes within the forms are internally focused with punched opening analogous to vernacular architecture. In-between spaces are fully glazed to blur the distinction between inside and outside.
Construction and materials: The materials are simple and durable: reclaimed lumber siding, a standing seam metal roof and a stone base.
Gross square footage: 5,000 square feet
Total project cost: withheld
Owner: Ron & Kelly Lockton
el dorado inc
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Principal: David Dowell
Structural Engineer: Dave Rogowska, Genesis Structures
Andy Fritzel, Gene Fritzel Construction