Glass Farmhouse / Olson Kundig


© Tim Bies

© Tim Bies
  • Architects: Olson Kundig
  • Location: Oregon, United States
  • Architect In Charge: Jim Olson
  • Area: 1440.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2008
  • Photographs: Tim Bies , John Clark

© Tim Bies

© Tim Bies

From the architect. Surrounded by wheat fields on a high-altitude plateau stand a small glass house and a solid, traditional barn. The owners, inspired by Philip Johnson’s Glass House, wanted a refuge that opens up to the prairie and mountains. The structures are conveniently close to each other and enjoy a sense of isolation at the end of a long country road. The roof of the wood-frame barn, which houses farm equipment below and guest rooms above, was inspired by the local vernacular and is echoed in the shed roof of the glass house.


© John Clark

© John Clark

Ground Floor Plan

Ground Floor Plan

© Tim Bies

© Tim Bies

Three sides of the house consist of high-efficiency glass framed with steel; on the north is a solid exterior wall. Inside the transparent shell, living, eating, and sleeping areas surround an enclosure that contains the bathroom, study, and storage. The house rests on a concrete slab supported on a concrete foundation. In this way, the heat-absorbing and—releasing thermal mass is isolated from the ground plane. The window system combines transparency with energy-efficiency. Heat loss and gain is managed largely by the orientation of the house: on the south side, an eyebrow, or light shelf, deflects midday summer sun but admits low-angle winter sunlight.


© Tim Bies

© Tim Bies

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