Bridge Houses

Residential Architect 2000 RADA Withers Residence, Accokeek, Md. Project of the Year McInturff Architects, Bethesda, Md. The client for this rural Maryland house wanted a no-frills design that would live in harmony with the forest around it. McInturff Architects responded with a plan based on a simple bridge structure.

Hoisting the building off its sloped site allowed for a low-tech drainage system; rainwater flows right under the house and down the hill.

A custom light sculpture by artist Janet Saad Cook takes pride of place in the living room.

The house looks like a pulled-apart cabin, with the private rooms on either end and a two-story living room in the middle.

Residential Architect September-October 2010 Case Study House in the Berkshires Schwartz/Silver Architects, Boston The 45-foot cantilever of this Massachusetts summer house resembles “half a bridge,” according to architect Warren Schwartz, FAIA.

Views of the bucolic Berkshire mountain range permeate the home’s interiors.

A steel frame and a massive concrete foundation provide the heft that enables the cantilever’s featherweight, floating look.

Residential Architect 2010 RADA L-Stack House, Fayetteville, Ark. Grand Award / Custom, 3,000 Square Feet or Less Marlon Blackwell Architect, Fayetteville The first floor of Marlon and Meryati Blackwell’s own house sits atop concrete piers, the better to span a creek on the property.

The home consists of two rectilinear forms, one set on top of the other at a 90-degree angle.

Its “L-Stack” configuration makes the most of a trapezoidal lot.

Only the first floor and the short end of the second floor are visible from the street, helping the project fit into its context of one-story cottages and ranch houses.

The kitchen, which features wenge cabinets and quartz counters, opens into the dining area and the living room.

The main public rooms open onto terraces, which make maximum use of the 0.2-acre site.

A rainscreen cladding of Brazilian redwood provides a textural contrast with the glass-enclosed staircase.

A view from the rear of the house, looking back toward the creek-spanning, one-story portion.

CUSTOM HOME 2010 CHDA Private Residence, Sebastopol, Calif. Merit Award / Less than 3,000 Square Feet Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, San Francisco Architects Mary Griffin and Eric Haesloop placed this northern California house over a slight dip in the landscape, so that it acts as a bridge between two existing stands of redwoods.

Douglas fir ceilings and cabinetry, along with ipe floors, lend a sense of richness to the interior spaces.

Clerestory windows on the entry side of the house assist with cross-ventilation.

The home’s studio/garage.

A glass rear wall permits valuable solar gain and daylighting.

The home’s floor plan.

The home’s site plan.

The project in section.

Residential Architect 2007 RADA Artist Bridge Studio, San Diego Merit Award / Renovation Safdie Rabines Architects, San Diego This art studio addition by Safdie Rabines Architects spans a shallow arroyo. Steel cross-bracing adds extra support without detracting from the studio’s delicate appearance.

Sliding doors on either side let the owner open up her studio to the rugged natural environment.

A little library forms one end of the workspace.

The project’s floor and site plan.

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