Versailles, Kentucky, 1966
Wide eaves at a height of 6’8″ shelter the perimeter windows on the French House, whose owners wanted to combine low scale with a high-ceilinged central hall. Continuous clerestories in the hall add brightness to the center of the house while high windows above the interior french doors admit light and space to the small, intimate rooms preferred by the client. The clients were admirers of Shaker architecture and furniture, and the house is not far from the restored Shaker village at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. The basic plan is an imaginative reconstruction of Shaker architecture and early 19th century Kentucky houses, with a traditional symmetrical high-ceilinged central hall with doors at both ends to provide cross ventilation during the hot Kentucky summers. Thick walls, small rooms and the generally symmetrical plan recapture the feeling of the solid buildings at Pleasant Hill The asymmetrical ends of the house fan out to views of green rolling pastures.
Dark stained, built-in cabinets, deep blue-green trim and off-white plaster walls reflect the orderly, restrained Shaker influence. These details are combined with a spacial openness and sensitivity with light and scale that derives from the houses of Frank Lloyd Wright.
In the high-ceilinged kitchen, light from two directions illuminates the counter designed for sociable preparation of meals. A fireplace is visible from the work center and dining table. There is access to a screened porch and to a mud room at the work entrance to the farm. Tucked into a low-ceilinged niche is a desk with a view over an herb garden.