Roots Rock

Mod Cott RADA 2010 – Custom Home 3,000 Square Feet or Less / Grand Award Architect: Mell Lawrence Architects, Austin, Texas; Builder: Classic Constructors, Marble Falls, Texas; Photography: Mell Lawrence This Texas guesthouse and weekend retreat juxtaposes rough-edged elements and polished precision. Big glass doors and an overhang of solar panels make up the front elevation.

Raw, site-gathered juniper branches and standing-seam metal clad the back of the building.

The rocky, rugged landscape directly influenced the guesthouse's design.

At night, a central light fixture casts shadow lines around the loft-like interiors.

In keeping with the project's simple, elemental aesthetic, a halved steel pipe creates a gutter connecting the roof to the rainwater tank.

Interior fir detailng adds a warm elegance to the space.

A metal plinth forms a small staircase landing.

The project takes in expansive views of a lake to the south.

The guesthouse's bath.

The project's first floor plan.

The guesthouse's bath.

Operable windows and high ceilings encourage natural ventilation in the main living area.

The extensive interior use of knotty pine-much of it reclaimed-creates a warm, casual look.

The home's three shotgun pavilions are staggered so that each one receives ample views, natural light, and breezes.

Glass-walled walkways connect the pavilions. Delicate-looking steel supports for the roofs supply structural strength without adding bulk.

Pinedale, Wyo., Residence CHDA 2007 – Custom Home 3,000 to 5,000 Square Feet / Merit Award Architect: Carney Architects, Jackson, Wyo.; Builder: Chambers Design-Build, Pinedale, Wyo.; Photography: Paul Warchol Two perpendicular walls of hewn logs make up this Wyoming home's organizing spines, a nod to the regional log-house vernacular.

A shed roof translates into a sloping, wood-lined ceiling inside. Exposed trusses keep the scale of the main living spaces from feeling overwhelming.

The floor plan.

LC Ranch RADA 2010 – Custom Home 3,000 Square Feet or Less / Merit Award Architect: Lake|Flato Architects, San Antonio; Builder: Yellowstone Traditions, Bozeman, Mont.; Photography: David Lake The major precedents for this Montana getaway were classic wooden barns and the sod houses of the Great Plains pioneers. The main house includes a public zone with a pitched roof and porches at both ends.

David Lake, FAIA, likens the kitchen to a mess hall: "Several people can be in there cooking."

Like the sleeping wing, a nearby guesthouse/garage (seen to the left of the main house) also burrows into the land.

The temperature of the bedrooms is moderated by the sleeping wing's sod roof.

The floor plan of the main house.

Sliding doors of weathering steel can be closed over the glass walls on cold nights and during inclement weather.

The master bedroom sits as far away from the public areas as possible, ensuring peace and quiet.

The site plan showing the main house and guesthouse/garage.

Salvage Beauty Custom Home November/December 2011 Architect: Bonstra | Haresign Architects, Washington, D.C.; Builder: Timberbuilt Construction, Flint Hill, Va.; Photography: Anice Hoachlander / Hoachlander Davis Photography  The Hazel River Cabin in Rappahannock County, Va., consists of a 1794 log cabin, its 1856 clapboard addition, and a larger, 1840 log cabin that was moved from another site.

Cedar shakes cover the roofs of the cabins, while standing seam metal tops the addition and porch.

A close-up of the 1794 cabin, where the logs were carefully preserved and re-chinked.

The remaining second level of the 1840 cabin overlooks the home's main living space.

New windows in the main living area maximize views of Old Rag Mountain and the Hazel River.

A new kitchen adds a bit of color to the interiors.

A granite-floored connecting piece links the kitchen to the dining room, which occupies the 1856 addition.

The view from the second floor of the 1840 cabin into the upstairs study.

In the master bedroom, a modern built-in headboard and steel railings contrast with historic log walls.

"Before" and "after" floorplans of the Hazel River Cabin.

Jackson Wine Silo CHDA 2007 – Accessory Building / Grand Award Architect: Carney Architects, Jackson, Wyo.; Builder: Bontecou Construction, Jackson; Photography: Paul Warchol The owner of this accessory building in Jackson, Wyo., lives in a flood plain, where cellars are inadvisable. A wine “silo” keeps his vintages safely above the water table, while complementing the log construction of the adjacent studio.

A circular stairway of reclaimed wood occupies the center of the structure.

Napa Weekend House CHDA 2005 – Accessory Building / Merit Award Architect: Dahlin Group Architecture Planning, San Ramon, Calif.; Builder: R.H. Hess Development, Napa, Calif.; Photography: David Duncan Livingston The shell of this cleverly designed 996-square-foot Napa Valley, Calif., weekend home and guest house resembles the outbuildings of the region's many wineries.

Light and airy details ensure a subtly elegant interior where nothing makes a statement or stands out, says architect Mario Aiello. The detailing disappears into the background, creating an overall impression of simplicity and comfort.

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