This new residence was built in Southern Illinois in farm country near the city of Effingham for a family of three and their many guests. Kristie & Niall Campbell were previous clients of CCS Architecture for their project Firefly Grill, a restaurant that has been very successful since it opened in 2006 - and remained friends ever since. This house re-started the creative collaboration. They desired a house that was different than others in the area, which is how the restaurant was envisioned, and how they also see themselves. While it was meant to be a family home on a day to day basis, they also wanted it to be a holiday destination for many others. Their primary aspiration was to have a spacious living-dining-kitchen space connected to a yard with a pool - all with views of the trees and the sky. The rural site was cleared of the immediate trees while the surrounding ones were kept to create a “room in the forest” where the light and colors change throughout the time of day and seasons.
The home was designed as two “buildings” that contrast each other functionally, geometrically, and materially that only touch at one small connecting point. The first building is angular in plan with blue stained wood, plaster, and glass; which contains three main spaces: a live-eat-cook space, three bedrooms with bathrooms, and the basement recreation space. The roof ascends slightly in height as it goes from the master bedroom at one end to the living room at the other – both of which aim axially out to the forest. The far end of the living room leads to a cantilevered deck that projects over a steep ravine as a counterpoint to the rest of the home, which is essentially a plateau. The angle forms the semi-courtyard shaped yard that is south facing and focused around the pool. The entry is located at its fold point, which establishes a portal to the front yard. The other “building” is a three-story Corten steel “barn”, which is the garage with two floors above that includes a work studio and guest suite. The Corten steel roof spans over the blue angle and then lands on columns at the yard, which establishes the large shaded outdoor living room. The visual result is an angle piercing a polygon, which becomes interlocked.