series of steel trellises leads to the main entrance.
Stephen Bruns visited the piece of land on which he was commissioned
to design Fieldstone House, one thing was clear: The driving force
behind the project would be the two glacial kettles on the property.
"The owners told me they had bought the land because of its
topography and wanted the house to reinforce the view to the
kettles," Bruns says.
hang like drapes on the exterior of the home designed by
architect Stephen Bruns on land in Richfield.
At the top of
the Richfield property, above the kettles, Bruns found the perfect
spot, a flat grassy plateau with a nearly straight tree line
overlooking the kettles. "Originally we considered projecting the
house into the forest but the owners felt very strongly about not
wanting to cut down any trees. They wanted to tread as lightly as
possible on the land, so we built the house oriented toward the
kettles at the very edge of the woods," Bruns says.
is the heart of the open living plan, with warm rich, mahogany
cabinets juxtaposed against crisp white quartz countertops.
The result is
all about the views. Entering the property, a visitor passes under a
series of steel trellises and along a stone wall leading to the main
entrance. The orientation of the trellises and a notch cut in the wall
serve to focus the eye on the forest and kettles below.
of the house is visually and conceptually connected with a
continuous stone wall, and the whole is connected to the site by
the same. The fieldstone wall provides a balance point upon the
ridge above two glacial kettles.
through house on a north south axis and seamlessly connecting the
interior to its surroundings, this wall keep the focus on the kettles
and is the projectís strongest design element. Bruns tried a number
of materials and eventually found what he was looking for at a nearby
quarry. "I wanted it to tie into the geological period when the
kettles were formed. This piece was at the entrance of the quarry with
trucks driving back and forth over it all day long ó people had
passed it by for decades," Bruns says. "It is actually the
very top layer or crust of rock. It had been scratched, and, in a
sense, naturally polished by the glaciers as they advanced and then
receded over it, time and again. It is the perfect complement to the
kettles," he says.
living room design capitalizes on the stunning property.
house is divided by an organizing wall with public spaces to one side
and private spaces to the other. Entering the main living space, the
eye is naturally drawn to the large windows and the kettles beyond.
The main living space is dominated by a sleeve-like fireplace that
adds warmth and serves as a divider between the living and dining
rooms. "Since we already had the stone element of the dividing
wall we never considered using stone for the fireplace," Bruns
says. Instead, he used poured concrete and a technique called board
forming where concrete is poured into a mold made of wooden boards.
Once itís dry, the boards are peeled off and the process continues
on up to the top. "As theyíre removed you can see the lines
between each board and the wood grain is engraved in the concrete. It
allows us to have a relationship between the stone organizing wall and
other wood elements used in the home. It really helps to tie the whole
custom-designed dining table is centered on two large windows
and the adjacent two-sided fireplace.
Asked to choose
his favorite space, Bruns says it is probably the living room.
"Due to the inverted pitched roof, the living room has the
highest ceiling. The 14-foot floor-to-ceiling windows are really
spectacular." The homeowner agrees: The living room is definitely
my favorite space in the house. The views are so stunning that I
actually find it hard to read in that room. My eye keeps wandering to
the kettles, but then again that is exactly what we wanted." M