This single-family residence is located on the site, and in the identical position, of the original 1880’s farmhouse that was removed and relocated to another site on the property.  The replacement structure is surrounded by ten acres of restored prairie and 200 acres of working farmland.  The farmstead includes an 1800’s restored hay barn and an early 1900’s machine shed.

The new home is a contemporary interpretation of the traditional Midwest farmhouse and mixes forms, materials, spaces, and views into a carefully orchestrated layering of new and old.  True to farmhouses of an earlier era, the home uses simple forms and materials, paying homage to the surrounding vernacular.  Two 18-foot gable forms, wrapped in fiber cement lap siding rain screen, are connected by a glazed circulation spine.  The central circulation core terminates to the north and south with a two-story window wall that frames views and supplies an abundance of natural light.  Porches surround three sides of the main level to extend the living space and provide shade.  A naturally weathering standing seam zinc roof caps the structure.

Inside, the spaces are more firmly entrenched in the 21st century, with cantilevered stairs, contemporary finishes, and modern conveniences to meet the needs of the family.  Public spaces occupy the first floor and lower level, with bedrooms, bathrooms and dressing areas on the second floor. Personal studies are tucked under the gable roof forms on the third floor.  A concealed 400-square foot private deck is located on the roof and is accessible through the chimney form by a retractable stair.

Triple-glazed, double hung windows celebrate views of the surrounding farmscape from every room. A geothermal heat pump system provides heating, cooling and hot water.  All roof water is collected for a future rainwater harvesting system for non-potable water uses.  A high-performance insulation system blankets the house against harsh Midwestern weather.  The glass floor of the south porch creates a passive solar light well for lower level spaces.

The family’s desire for a retreat that celebrates seasonal changes in the ever-changing rural landscape was met with a well-crafted, simple form connecting home to land and home to history.

Project Type



Iowa City, Iowa


3,730 SF




2013 AIA Central States Award
2013 Builders Choice / Custom Home Grand Award
2011 AIA Iowa Craft Award
2009 AIA Iowa Award