RIHADEMABeautiful Retirement Home on Wooded Acreage in West Virginia
Date: Completed 2013
Size: Site 12 ACRES | House 3,505 SF
Location: Masontown | WV
Embedded in the isolated environment of a West Virginia forest, the design for Rihadema amplifies the awareness of nature through the manipulation of key viewpoints. The site, a wooded section of forest with significant elevation changes, offers dramatic views to the valley and mountains west and south-east. Man-made clearings, orientation of the buildings, and the placement of glazing are used to highlight these views and organize the circulation paths to the entry and, finally, into the house. The framed views unfold as a sequence of events: the bridge connecting the garage to the main house provides a controlled view to the west, taking the visitor into the interior with the presentation of the forest to the south. Upon entering, views to the west draw the visitor into the living space.
Support spaces are housed within the distinct central core which also provides structural support. This organization allows circulation to be pushed to the perimeter in an effort to maximize the visual connection with the site; enhancing the indoor / outdoor experience. Stone, wood, and local CMU lintels were selected for their regional aesthetic that blends the project into its natural environment. The interplay of these materials emulates the natural intertwining of rocks, moss, and roots observed on site and the faceted roof mimics the dramatic rock outcroppings while also sloping inward to hug the site and emulate the horizon line. Rihadema’s long, slender form was oriented to maximize the southern exposure for passive heating, preferred views, and daylighting benefits.
Photography: Benjamin Hill Photography