Project: French Broad House
Architects: Sanders Pace Architecture
Project Team: Brandon F. Pace, FAIA Principal-in-Charge; John L. Sanders, FAIA; Daniel A. Jones, AIA; Alec T. Persch
Location: Riverdale, Tennessee, USA
Size: 1,979 Square Feet (Conditioned) / 4,136 Square Feet (Under Roof)
Completion Date: 2020
Photo Credits: Keith Isaacs Photo
Text by Sanders Pace Architecture
Located in Riverdale, Tennessee the project is a 1,979 square foot single family residence situated within the foothills of the French Broad River basin with distant views to the Great Smoky Mountains. The French Broad house was designed around the simple organization of three pavilions: one public, one private, and a garage all connected by a single roof form that weaves through an existing grove of mature hardwoods.
The negative spaces created by connecting the pavilions become covered porch spaces with very distinct qualities. One with a low, flat ceiling is accessed from the guest’s bedroom that frames near views into the adjacent landscape to create a quiet refuge, while the other is accessed from the public spaces of the home and has a high sloping wood ceiling oriented to distant mountain views.
As the building foundation twists along the ridge, the three rectangular primary volumes of each pavilion are separated from one another by the covered porch spaces. Each of the primary volumes is clad in a pattern of cementitious siding panels painted in a range of colors selected to match the fall foliage discovered during an initial site visit.
The siding panels are coursed to align with the full height windows that have been located to provide both forest views and diffuse natural light into the interior spaces. Stained cypress wood surfaces at the exterior spaces add warmth and help to connect and unify the home with the surrounding forest.
The roof system is expressed as a third layer, a thin plane extending beyond the continuous cypress fascia of the inset wrapper which drapes down to the finished floor level at the garage and bedroom volume. The entry and primary public spaces are punctuated by a flat-roofed shroud which extends beyond the edge of the metal siding to create a covered entry porch and provide a thickened interior service zone for kitchen components as well as built-in storage in the open dining and living room spaces.
Simple interior finishes such as painted wood ceilings and white washed oak floors reinforce the connection to the outdoors while adding an additional layer of refinement.