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Central Cottage, West Virginia Organic Architecture

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South from below Birdwatch balcony of the Well House with Central Cottage left.

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Birds eye view from the South.  Central Cottage, garage, workshop, car court, and Guest house on the right.

For more images of this design scroll down.


Central Cottage Complex Description

Plan starting from the South end and working North right to left.

Well House

The smaller structure is the Well House or Guest House.   The upper level is 625 SF with a long cantilevered balcony.  At the north end is a carport or covered entry roof.  This level is much like a motel room with a bath, small compact kitchen and closet.  The large area has a stone fire place, sleeper sofa, built-in desk and table along the stair to the lower level.  This stair is open so the glass windows go to the stair treads as they descend to the lower level.   This will create an extension of the balcony from outside to inside.    From the interior of this small space the glass will seem to go below the edge of the desk top and give a feeling of openness to the natural view and surroundings.

The lower level will have a lounge area open to the stair and to a covered outside terrace.  There is an outside bath that is for the use of campers and others that may be on the property.  The back part of the lower level is a utility area that will house the boiler, water system and other mechanical system for the whole Central Cottage Complex. 

Central Cottage

Between the Well house and the Central Cottage is curved "Lanai" terrace with a in the ground hot tub and outside shower.
The bath is at the south end  and has a WC, single sink in a cabinet, and shower open to the outside with large glass walls.

There is a dressing area and 12 liner feet of closet along the east wall.
The sleeping area has a Queen size bed that is in the middle of the space with a five foot high head board that will have storage on the dressing side and serve as a spatial element.  There is a  small fire place.  Most of the morning light is from roof windows or skylights which will also provide a view of the stars over the bed.  The view to the south and west is up and out so the experience will be open to the natural views and beauty of the site.

The terrace outside extends the length of the house from the southeast end where the bath is to the northwest end where the dining is located. The general axis of the Maine Cottage is N 45 degrees W magnetic. This is at a 45 degree angle to the site grid which is set magnetic north.   I did this so when we are on the site we can use the compass to get our directions. The terrace is really an extension of the floor of the Central Cottage to the outside from all the areas. The edge of the terrace from the bath and hot tub to the dining area has steps that go down to natural grade. At the northwest end of the house the steps go down 30 inches to a small lower terrace and a stone terrace wall. The floor of this end of the terrace is about 5 or 6 feet above the natural grade and so requires a 42 inch high parapet wall at the edge. By descending the steps to a lower terrace the top of the parapet is only 12 inches above the floor of the main cottage and does not block the view down toward the open meadow and future pond.

The large stone fireplace separates the sleeping from the living space. There is a built in seating area along the east wall of the axis N 45 degrees W and the large fireplace is at right angles so that when seated the fire place will be to the left and the view of the mountains will be out large glass windows to the southwest.

The entry to the house is  into the living space northwest beyond this seating area and is separated by a coat closet at an angle to the east wall.  This creates a cove seating area built-in at the large fire place. 

The cooking area is next Northwest of the entry and the dining is at the northwest end with glass all around.
There is a pantry, powder room,  laundry and utility area at the back end of the cooking area toward the garage.

The whole interior of the areas inside are open to the terrace as I mentioned before which runs the length of the house on the southwest side and around the dining area at the northwest end.

The study or private work space will be accessed by a stair off the passage to the garage at the end of the cooking area. The work space will be a floor above the main level with a view toward the north. What we both described as the best view when we stood together on the site back in 2004. This work space will be completely separate from the Central Cottage both visually and sound wise. To get to it you will enter a door and go up the stairs that only led to the private work space. If you want a cup of coffee or a drink of water the cooking area is just down the stairs and as well as access to a full guest bath off the workshop.

The three car garage is at right angles to the axis of the Central Cottage and just north of the entry. I am including three cars plus a work shop area about the size of a single car garage. There will be an inside connection to get from the garage into the Central Cottage.

The garage, Central Cottage and Well House create an 'L' shape that I am calling the car court. The existing logging road will be used as the driveway and  will pass by the northeast end of the garage and then turn right into the car court with the garage doors to the right and the central cottage ahead to the southwest. The Well house is just to the left. 

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North side birds eye view. 

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View from the east

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View from the southwest

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View from the south

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View from the southeast



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