Phelps Residence

Bloomington, Indiana
Location
  • Bloomington, Indiana
  • This is a year-round family home located in rural southern Indiana on 90 mostly wooded acres overlooking a private lake. The upper level cantilevers over the native stone lower level on all four sides. The cedar and glass exterior walls enclose a rectilinear, open "universal" space. The structural framework consists of three eighteen foot clear spans supported by exposed cross beams which form the roof and floor. Within the space independent partitions define the various living areas without restricting the overall feeling of free flowing space.

    This is one of very few homes that embodies the design principals of Mies van der Rohe in their purest form. I attended the Illinois Institute of Technology in the 1960's while Mies's educational philosophies and his selected faculty were all still in place. Mies himself, though quite elderly, even visited with us a few times. This house was inspired by a 4th Year design exercise at IIT. One might also see similarities to the Farnsworth House and the unbuilt Resor House.

    The southeast facing glass wall provides passive solar heat in winter and is shaded by deciduous trees in summer. The interior is entirely open plan. There are no doors except for the Guest Bath and storage. There are two cores positioned within the space. One contains the bathrooms and walk-in closets. The other contains the Pantry and Entry Closet.

    Interior materials are gypsum board, cedar trim, native stone, ceramic tile, granite, red oak cabinets and sequenced matched red oak paneling. The floors are teak parquet throughout.
    Bronze glass sliding doors were used at the double sided fireplace and the china hutch. A sheet of bronze glass, mounted on the paneled wall, masks a video display panel, controlled by tablet, which is invisible when not in use. The cost, not including the land, was $70,000 in 1978, approximately the cost of an average home in this area at the time.


    The best thing about living in this home over the course of nearly 40 years is being able to appreciate beauty of each season. The photos are selected to show that beauty.

    Larry Phelps uploaded Phelps Residence through Add A Home.
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    View from the lake. Photo  of Phelps Residence modern home

    View from the lake.

    Southeast facing glass wall.  There are about 10,000 bulbs in the landscaping.   Photo 2 of Phelps Residence modern home

    Southeast facing glass wall. There are about 10,000 bulbs in the landscaping.

    Outdoor campfire area.  Most of the trees around the home are about 100 years old.   Photo 3 of Phelps Residence modern home

    Outdoor campfire area. Most of the trees around the home are about 100 years old.

    The house is located at the end of a quarter-mile long driveway through the forest. Photo 4 of Phelps Residence modern home

    The house is located at the end of a quarter-mile long driveway through the forest.

    Most of the ground under the trees is covered with moss not grass.   Photo 5 of Phelps Residence modern home

    Most of the ground under the trees is covered with moss not grass.

    Cantilevered upper level appears to almost float above the stone. Photo 6 of Phelps Residence modern home

    Cantilevered upper level appears to almost float above the stone.

    Photo 7 of Phelps Residence modern home
    Photo 8 of Phelps Residence modern home
    Photo 9 of Phelps Residence modern home
    The Living Room glows with the fall colors.  Knoll and Herman Miller furniture.   Photo 10 of Phelps Residence modern home

    The Living Room glows with the fall colors. Knoll and Herman Miller furniture.

    Mantel is rough sawn cherry from a nearby sawmill.   Photo 11 of Phelps Residence modern home

    Mantel is rough sawn cherry from a nearby sawmill.

    Dining Room with Platner table and Pollack chairs.  Computer and television screen controlled by wifi is invisible when off.  Master Bedroom is beyond on right.    Photo 12 of Phelps Residence modern home

    Dining Room with Platner table and Pollack chairs. Computer and television screen controlled by wifi is invisible when off. Master Bedroom is beyond on right.

    Kitchen is freestanding with full view to the lake.  Opalescent granite surfaces.   Photo 13 of Phelps Residence modern home

    Kitchen is freestanding with full view to the lake. Opalescent granite surfaces.

    Gallery and stair to lower level.    Photo 14 of Phelps Residence modern home

    Gallery and stair to lower level.

    View of lake from Master Bedroom.  Door to lakeside deck.   Photo 15 of Phelps Residence modern home

    View of lake from Master Bedroom. Door to lakeside deck.