Located on a two-acre peninsula, the guesthouse is
surrounded by a natural landscape that includes reed-covered wetlands that
serve as a migratory stop for egrets, cranes and swans. The development of the
project utilized a meticulous analysis of the existing vegetation and wildlife
to implement a ten-year plan that will eliminate invasive plants, reintroduce
native plants, and restore and increase the existing wetlands.
The beauty of the natural surroundings informs many aspects of the project, beginning with the access to the peninsula from the main house. The procession uses a light pedestrian bridge inspired by the reeds that surround the site. The bridge’s visual lightness is accomplished using bent steel rebar left unfinished to rust. This raw construction heightens the experience and gives a certain sense of adventure when entering into this more wild and natural world. To limit its ecological impact, the Guest House was conceived with a minimal footprint as a light vertical structure consisting of three floors. The ground floor, with its kitchen, living and dining areas, is completely open to a surrounding terrace, separated only by floor-to-ceiling glass. This sweeping covered deck appears to float above natural grade with native grasses coming to its edge.
A glass box covered with shutters hovers above the first floor roof. It contains the master bedroom in the second level and two bedrooms in the third. The box is attached to a three-story volume that contains the stair, bathrooms and closets. This volume is defined by a ribbon-like edge that adjusts itself to the needs of the spaces inside. The shutters have adjustable slats and can be fully folded up to accommodate varying light conditions. In addition, the shutters provide protection for the house when it is not occupied. The steel windows of the cube are fully operable to encourage a greater interaction with the natural environment. In total, the Guest House, a sure but respectful object in the landscape, affords its occupant the opportunity to reflect on the beauty of its surroundings.