Walnut Woods Residence is a beautiful log home designed by John Senhauser Architects, situated on a steeply sloped wooded site in Cincinnati, Ohio. The residence was conceived as a 24 ft x 150 ft linear bar rising into the trees. Positioned according to subdivision covenants, the structure bridges 40 feet across an existing intermittent creek, thereby preserving natural drainage patterns and habitat. An 80 feet long ‘grand terrace’ and double-height window wall were incised into the linear bar. The window wall not only provides continual connection to the surrounding woods, but also enables indirect daylight to penetrate the interior. In addition to preserving existing drainage patterns and providing natural daylight, additional sustainable features include a grass roof, wood flooring locally milled using walnut trees cleared from the site during construction, and a minimal building footprint.
Walnut Woods Studio
When the new owner of this existing log residence contacted us about designing a detached ceramics and jewelry-making studio, we knew this would be both challenging and exciting. The 155 foot long house spans 45 feet across an intermittent creek on a steeply sloping, heavily wooded site.
Our strategy was to inseparably link the house, studio and site to one another, minimizing disruption of the woods (only one tree was relocated for construction). Using the radius of the porte cochere drive, the studio breaches the stone wall and perches itself on four columns. The studio roof is then pitched parallel to the house’s roof, matching the slope. A slot, carved from the studio enclosure, allows a steel stair to drop below the drive/terrace entry to connect with the lower level of the house. Deep overhangs protect the terrace, permitting the studio to expand onto the terrace (and into the woods) through the folding window wall.
Photos: Eric Williams, Scott Hisey
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