McNaughton Residence

Travelers Rest, SC

The project consists of a 3,000 sq.ft single family residence located in a gated retirement community that skirts the southernmost range of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The client, an accomplished Maritime photographer, wished for a home reminiscent of the simple boat buildings that formed much of the basis of his professional work. The result is an “architecture of resistance” in a planned development that proscribes strict design guidelines geared toward the traditional and picturesque. Rather than being constrained by these guidelines, the project draws upon the rich formal and material traditions of regional vernacular buildings characterized by modesty, simplicity and clarity.

The house has both a burrowed and a perched quality, a result of the structure’s differing relationships to the retaining walls. On the street side, the house appears to be partially buried in the site. On the view side, the primary volume of the structure cantilevers out over the long stone wall. Materials are sourced locally to the greatest extent possible; cypress is the primary cladding material selected for its durability, workability and abundance in the southeast. The retaining walls are sheathed in Swanannoa stone from Western North Carolina, the closest quarry available. The roof is a simple standing seam galvanized metal, used in the region for generations due to its low cost and durability. The client mandated that all landscape plants be of the region, eliminating the need for an irrigation system.