River Birch House

Surrounded by nature and tall birch trees, the River Birch House transposes all its natural surroundings indoors. It demonstrates a beautiful play and consideration of the movement of natural light and contrasting natural materials within the living space.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Photo credits: Ryan Kurtz
Design credits: José García Design

Surrounded by nature and tall birch trees, the River Birch House transposes all its natural surroundings indoors. It demonstrates a beautiful play and consideration of the movement of natural light and contrasting natural materials within the living space.

River Birch House

This project uses very few material types throughout. We intentionally limited our choices to provide a sense of calm and simplicity. Those selected materials were Ohio white oak, Ohio fieldstone, and Pennsylvania quartzite stone; maintaining elements of nature inside.

River Birch House
River Birch House

The most important design premise was to create spaces that would connect inside and outside. Natural light enters the building from many angles, making the interior of equal value with the exterior. Notice, for example, the way it “washes” the wood ceiling and the stone wall through a hidden slot skylight; they appear to be less heavy.

River Birch House
River Birch House

It is not only the sequence of tall windows, but light entering through strategic locations what makes the interior blend with the surrounding space.

We pay careful attention to orientation, the path of the sun through the seasons, the means by which we control natural light, and the way the immediate surroundings constantly change.

River Birch House
River Birch House

Wooden internal finishing adds a rustic and cosy feel to the cabin-like house that reflects a warm ambience thanks to the golden natural light that pours through at dusk and dawn; accentuating the more desired golden hour. This ambience is sustained into the night with strategically placed warm lighting.

River Birch House
River Birch House

Interior stacked stonewalls add up the texture and contrast warmth of the sleek wood and softness of the furnishing and interior decorations.

River Birch House

The homogeneity of natural elements brings a sense of calm through the very fact that materials are derived from nature. It’s in nature’s authenticity that creates a peaceful setting that is alive, grounding and serene; bringing us closer to our roots.

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