Louisville, Kentucky, 1977
with Grossman, Martin and Chapman, Architects
The Cook House has two main and four intermediate levels that follow hillside contours and descends to a south view of a wooded stream. Light wood trusses span 28 feet to permit free flowing space requested by the clients. Visitors enter under a trellis and look through the dining room to a ramp and trees beyond. The ramp connects the living, dining and kitchen level with a ground level terrace. A cantilevered roof over a cantilevered porch projects into the trees and becomes a waterfall during rains. The deep overhangs and horizontal soffits on the south are surfaced in rough-sawn cypress to soften the light. Interior ceiling heights are modulated but kept low to reduce heating and cooling loads.
Clerestories admit light to the gallery below. In the kitchen, overhead members contain lighting and allow for hanging cooking utensils and plants. The porch is seen through sliding windows. The kitchen/ family room has an east-facing greenhouse and adjoins a cantilevered porch conceived as a possible play room for young children. Seating along the south wall of the living room serves double duty as a buffet table. The west wall of the living-lounge area steps back in planes to accommodate the study and master bedroom while echoing wood surfaced forms in the ceiling.
A “historic wall” and storage feature, 50 feet long, divides living spaces from a circulation gallery. Fragments, cornices and molding from a house the owner grew up in are reconstituted to accommodate antiques, pictures and mementos. Horizontal teak strips alternate with oak paneling to match adjoining floors. On the back of the wall are mirrors which reflect the view of the trees.