Abiding by the clients’ request for the house to blend in with the environment, particularly from the one side where the client’s conservative mother “has her cottage and watchful eyes”, the extension becomes a unobtrusive living space that is part of the earth, making it appear “almost invisible”.
Utilizing the sloping condition of the site, the architects were able to excavate the hill and construct a concrete vault in its void. The vault is then punctuated in strategic locations to allow light to illuminate the living spaces. The rest of the vault is covered with soil, leaving no obvious indications of the architects’ presence.
Deer statues placed on top of the building cover the holes and become the light shafts; they also act as a reference point for the content of the house.
The new extension is connected to the original home with an internal stair that divides the extension into a social zone and a quieter one. The social zone, which consists of a small kitchen and a living room, is clothed in a glass façade (the only visible façade of the entire extension) and faces the river. The quieter zone is comprised of the sleeping areas and bathroom where the over lights display the change of light quality throughout the day.