“Blue Steel” is a new low-energy, live/work prototype located near Freeport, Pennsylvania that we designed for industrialist, Randy Edgar, and his wife Bonnie.  Home/Work: The argument that multi-family homes use fewer resources than single-family homes doesn’t carry much weight in this part of the United States, where citizens are fiercely protective of their independence. Homes, like cars, are representations of success. These homes WILL be built. Our intent is to provide a carefully designed, energy-efficient, live-work option to compete with the commuter model, saving both driving time and all the costs associated with cars.

The local woodlands are being displaced here as new homes are constructed. But 95% of this lot will remain untouched. Our plans include instructions to save every tree possible and to bury more than half the buildings area below grade. No fences will separate this home from its neighbors. Despite the home’s unconventional appearance, the neighbors support the construction because their walking paths will be preserved and their street views will remain unimpeded.

Ideas transcend style: We are reinforcing the building’s connection to nature by employing a variety of sustainable products and methods. The interior plan is flexible and open, resulting in light-filled spaces that can be used for different purposes as needs change. This is ‘bottom-up’ architecture, in which affordable, easy-to-build strategies are employed to create extraordinary experience.

Working from home is good for the planet. Just as important, the building concept celebrates nature by displacing attention from the house back to the woods. A building that enhances its occupants’ perception of natures beauty is one that will encourage all who visit to better respect the environment. The house, named by my intern, Seth, for it’s metal siding (subsequently replaced with Nichiha panels) is located on the same wooded site as another recently completed FISHER ARCHitecture designed home, the earth-sheltered Ewing House.

Here is a link to some more Edgar house process.  As happens on every project, many of our designs end up on the cutting room floor…