The story began with a simple desire to escape the chaos of the urban core to a simpler rural lifestyle. A search for a house and a setting where I could reside, and/or, simply “retreat” to. A place to downsize my lifestyle. My search lead me to the Flint Hills of Kansas, where I purchased a ten-acre plot, adjacent to the Tall Grass National Preserve.
With the land purchased, the next step was the design of the house. The architecture would encompass traditional rural forms, materials and functional elements with a sustainable Modern Design. A community-based open-plan would define the interior. Above all, the house needed to be affordable in construction and life cycle costs.
A cursory review of a Stock House Plan Book made it clear that the plans provided were not the solution. Lacking any sense of Modern Design, the House Plans were of a generic suburban “cul-de-sac” solution, and were quickly discarded. The house needed to be an individualized Architect-Designed house, and not a Builder-Designed prototype.
The Architect-Design process began with a Great Room concept. A voluminous space, the Great Room would incorporate the Living, Dining and Kitchen areas. The Bedrooms and Bathrooms would be directly accessible from the Great Room. The Floor Plan needed to be less than 1400 square feet for low maintenance. The exterior would include Rural Vernacular elements.
The exterior shell of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) would emphasize the use of “green” building materials and methods. A standing seam metal shed roof, ribbed metal siding and limestone/metal wainscoting would define the exterior skin. Openings in the exterior shell would include operable windows with shading devices for passive solar control.
The end-result was the Mattfield House. As guests came to visit, the message was clear. Urban-dwellers want well designed modern, simple and affordable “retreat” houses. While the design parameters remain the same, individualized design solutions of the Modern Rural House began to evolve. If you are seeking an Architect-Design Modern Rural House Plan, then visit the options available on our HOUSES page.