In Situ Studio's Merkel Cooper Residence overlooks North Carolina lake - architecture and design

In Situ Studio's Merkel Cooper Residence overlooks North Carolina lake

Concrete block and fibre-cement boards are among the materials used by American firm In Situ Studio to create this hillside home for a retired couple living in North Carolina.

The Merkel Cooper Residence is located in the small town of Troutman, which is about 35 miles (56 kilometres) north of the state's major city Charlotte.

Designed for a retired couple, the home is nestled into a sloped, wooded site overlooking Lake Norman. Capitalising on the scenic terrain was a guiding concern for In Situ Studio.
"The house is a simple structure sited to maximise the experience of the hillside, forest and distant lake," the studio, which is based in North Carolina capital Raleigh, said in a project description.

The team placed an emphasis on the arrival sequence. An entry drive winds through a hardwood forest, with the home being revealed as one approaches the top of the hill. The residence consists of a wood-framed box adjoined to a carport, which together form a T-shaped plan.

For exterior walls, the team used a "humble" palette of materials, including fibre-cement siding. Parged concrete block was used for the home's foundation and a series of walls on the property.

The dwelling is topped with a sloped roof with generous overhangs. A thin canopy covers the carport, extending off the home's west facade. The point where the carport meets the house is the only place where structural steel was employed in the project.

Within the carport, a wooden screen separ...


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