Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville NC with distant north views of Mt Spivey and a narrow sloping lot, this wedge-shaped home is a response to site. We took into careful consideration a variety of site-specific inputs including views, sun orientation, prevailing winds, privacy, and natural cooling/heating techniques among others. The result is a functional, energy efficient home with a distinctive exterior shape and warm light filled interior spaces.

The home’s dominant shed roof maximizes solar orientation for photovoltaic panels while also allowing for a double-height central atrium to flood the core of the house with natural light and exhaust hot air on hot summer days. The introduction of natural light into the core of the house reduces the need for artificial lighting on cloudy days, while the chimney effect created by opening large operable skylights at the top of the atrium reduces HVAC loads by bringing cool air up from the basement.

This central atrium is an example of how a design feature can multitask --it brings natural light deep into the core of the house, it cools the house using the chimney effect, and it provides a place to grow plants which filter interior air. It also allowed us to minimize the street facing windows for privacy while still maintaining a light filled interior.

Anchoring the bottom of the atrium are four large arched openings and a Spanish terracotta tile floor. The tile floor is a durable surface good for watering plants and for heavy foot traffic. A keyhole opening marks the boundary between private and public sides of the house while two of the arched openings frame an intimate eating nook and entry foyer with walls covered in locally milled southern yellow pine. The last arch has steps spilling out into a sunken living room and kitchen area with access to a back deck.

Locally milled cypress, a naturally rot resistant wood, covers the exterior and anchors the strong geometry of the house to the site.

In the end, our desire for functionality created something more than just an energy efficient home. The interior took on an unexpected bohemian feel; one that originated from a desire for light and functionality, but resulted in warm soft interior spaces that were comfortable and welcoming.

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Modern home with Exterior, Shed RoofLine, Metal Roof Material, House Building Type, and Wood Siding Material. Locally milled cypress siding, a naturally rot-resistant wood, will darken over time.  Photo  of Westwood House

Locally milled cypress siding, a naturally rot-resistant wood, will darken over time.

Modern home with Exterior, Shed RoofLine, House Building Type, Metal Roof Material, and Wood Siding Material. A covered front porch spills out to the yard and anchors the house to the site.  Photo 2 of Westwood House

A covered front porch spills out to the yard and anchors the house to the site.

Modern home with Exterior, Metal Roof Material, House Building Type, Shed RoofLine, and Wood Siding Material. Solar panels populate the upper roof, and a double-height atrium in the middle helps to break up the home's massing.  Photo 3 of Westwood House

Solar panels populate the upper roof, and a double-height atrium in the middle helps to break up the home's massing.

Looking from the foyer toward the central, light-filled atrium.  Photo 4 of Westwood House modern home

Looking from the foyer toward the central, light-filled atrium.

Modern home with Living Room, Pendant Lighting, and Terra-cotta Tile Floor. A vintage ladder in the foyer leads to a hidden loft above the kitchen.   Photo 5 of Westwood House

A vintage ladder in the foyer leads to a hidden loft above the kitchen.

An energy-efficient, Danish wood-burning stove by Rais anchors one corner of the living room.  Photo 6 of Westwood House modern home

An energy-efficient, Danish wood-burning stove by Rais anchors one corner of the living room.

Modern home with Kitchen, Engineered Quartz Counter, Light Hardwood Floor, Ceramic Tile Backsplashe, Colorful Cabinet, Track Lighting, Cooktops, and Undermount Sink. Photo 7 of Westwood House
Modern home with Hallway and Terra-cotta Tile Floor. A keyhole doorway marks the boundary between public and private sides of the house. Photo 8 of Westwood House

A keyhole doorway marks the boundary between public and private sides of the house.

Modern home with Living Room, Light Hardwood Floor, Track Lighting, Shelves, Bench, Accent Lighting, Chair, Wood Burning Fireplace, and Ceiling Lighting. When not in use,  a TV is covered by a sliding barn door.  Photo 9 of Westwood House

When not in use, a TV is covered by a sliding barn door.

Modern home with Hallway and Light Hardwood Floor. The entryway features handmade Spanish tile floors and pine walls. Photo 10 of Westwood House

The entryway features handmade Spanish tile floors and pine walls.

Modern home with Living Room, Light Hardwood Floor, Wood Burning Fireplace, Ceiling Lighting, and Bench. Photo 11 of Westwood House
Modern home with Light Hardwood Floor and Ceiling Lighting. The master bedroom centers a bed frame by Floyd and a vintage rug.  Photo 12 of Westwood House

The master bedroom centers a bed frame by Floyd and a vintage rug.

Modern home with Ceiling Lighting, Light Hardwood Floor, and Pendant Lighting. Photo 13 of Westwood House
Modern home with Hallway and Light Hardwood Floor. A ladder leads to the sleeping nook. Photo 14 of Westwood House

A ladder leads to the sleeping nook.

Vintage furniture used as a bath vanities saved on the budget. Photo 15 of Westwood House modern home

Vintage furniture used as a bath vanities saved on the budget.

Modern home with Light Hardwood Floor and Pendant Lighting. Photo 16 of Westwood House
Modern home with Exterior, Wood Siding Material, House Building Type, Metal Roof Material, and Shed RoofLine. Photo 17 of Westwood House
A compact washer and dryer slide under a white oak counter for folding clothes.  Photo 18 of Westwood House modern home

A compact washer and dryer slide under a white oak counter for folding clothes.

Credits

Posted By
Architect
  • Assembly Architecture & Build, PLLC
Builder
  • Assembly Architecture & Build, PLLC
Photographer
  • Thom Gaines
Bedrooms
  • 4
  • Full Baths
  • 3
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Style
  • Modern
  • Year
  • 2019
  • Square Feet
  • 3000
  • Lot Size
  • .14 acre