Date: September 22, 2008 | Story: Allison Cook |
Architect Lynn Fitzpatrick, clinical associate professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and her husband Joseph O’Connell drew on years of travel and architectural influences when designing their northwest Arkansas house. “I was very interested in traditional Adirondack camps, which were inspired by Japanese architecture and craft,” Lynn says. “I also looked to the Shakers for their restraint and emphasis on functional invention, and I was drawn to Native American longhouses for their adaptation to climate and site conditions.” Their nearly eight acres of wooded property offered mature trees, spectacular views and lots of privacy, and each of these aspects was respected and taken into account in their design.
The exterior of the home offers a juxtaposition of materials from wall made of stacked local fieldstone and Douglas fir piers to Hardiplank, cedar and Miratech panelized siding. The connection between the inside and the outside was important to Lynn, and there are many outdoor living spaces from which to enjoy nature. “I really enjoy all of the outdoor areas,” Lynn says. “The master bedrooms open onto a screened-in sleeping porch, and there’s a covered porch off the guest bedroom. This is very typical of Adirondack camps and lodges.” The timber construction is also consistent on the interior and exterior. “This creates a clear order and rhythm that extends the entire length of the house, and it’s continued in the proportions and structure of the decks, porches and courtyard,” she says.
Lynn chose the home’s color palette based on Shaker natural dyes. “I used warmer tones on the south side of the interior where the sunlight is direct and cooler tones on the north side where there’s mostly indirect light,” she says. “I wanted to use warm, natural materials in a modern way with clean lines and open interconnected spaces.” Throughout the home, bookshelves, screens, cabinetry and windows act as walls, allowing natural light to flow freely, and furthering the open floor plan.
The home centers on the large stacked-stone fireplace, which offers an interior and exterior hearth. “The glass walls and doors of the living and dining areas open onto a Brazilian walnut deck and stone terrace with courtyard,” Lynn says. “The inside is really an extension of the outside and vice versa.” Joseph and Lynn find they spend a lot of their time cooking in the kitchen, snuggling with their two Harlequin great danes and three kittens in front of the fireplace and admiring the views from their many decks. “This is the first house that Joe and I have ever owned,” Lynn says. “While moving around and pursuing graduate degrees and careers has been fun and fruitful, nothing feels as good as arriving home.”