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Cape Russell Retreat

This off-the-grid lakeside pavilion located in rural East Tennessee begins with a lightweight steel frame shop fitted with tabs to allow for the attachment of framing members. A secondary skin of 2×4 vertical cedar boards backed with insect screen allows for cross ventilation, its staggered blocking pattern camouflaging the structure within its densely wooded setting.

Cape-Russell-Retreat-By-Sanders-Pace-Architecture-02-759x500 Cape Russell Retreat / Sanders Pace Architecture

© Jeffrey Jacobs

A butterfly roof directs and delivers rainwater to a collection cistern located beside the structure with internal filters and UV lighting which treat the water for potable use. A rooftop mounted photovoltaic cell provides the necessary power to run the water pump, refrigeration, fans and lighting and allows the structure to operate independently.

Cape-Russell-Retreat-By-Sanders-Pace-Architecture-03-759x505 Cape Russell Retreat / Sanders Pace Architecture

© Jeffrey Jacobs

Design process:

The owner’s focus on sustainability within her professional life led to a low-impact, off-the-grid design mandate. Research led us to two consultant/subcontractors who assisted with the design of the solar and rainwater harvesting systems early on in the process and all further design decisions were impacted heavily by this approach. Additionally we worked very closely during the design process with the steel and carpentry subcontractors to develop systems which could be easily transported and erected on site with minimal impact to this important watershed.

Cape-Russell-Retreat-By-Sanders-Pace-Architecture-04-759x569 Cape Russell Retreat / Sanders Pace Architecture

© Jeffrey Jacobs

Construction:

Critical to the success of this project was a constant focus on the process of construction. All trades were selected early and integrated into the design team which limited surprises typically encountered during construction. Some elements of the project, including the structural cedar skin, were systemized for shop fabrication allowing mockups to easily be created and evaluated prior to final fabrication and delivery to the site.

Cape-Russell-Retreat-By-Sanders-Pace-Architecture-05-759x520 Cape Russell Retreat / Sanders Pace Architecture

© Jeffrey Jacobs

Sanders Pace Architecture:

The Owners commissioned Sanders Pace Architecture to design and coordinate construction of an off-the-grid lakeside pavilion with integrated water reclamation and photovoltaic technology for weekend use. A lightweight steel structure was chosen for durability and ease of fabrication. This structure was shop fitted with tabs to allow for the attachment of a secondary skin. In developing this skin the desire for transparency coupled with a passive cooling approach led to a shop fabricated structural screen of 2×4 vertical cedar boards backed with insect screen.

Cape-Russell-Retreat-By-Sanders-Pace-Architecture-06-759x569 Cape Russell Retreat / Sanders Pace Architecture

© Jeffrey Jacobs

Structural blocking located between the vertical structure lends a delicate pattern to the structural skin camouflaging the structure within its densely wooded setting. Towards the water view the cedar skin dissolves and becomes a series of screen panels allowing unobstructed views to the water and mountains beyond.

Cape-Russell-Retreat-By-Sanders-Pace-Architecture-07-759x518 Cape Russell Retreat / Sanders Pace Architecture

© Jeffrey Jacobs

A single 8’x8′ sliding screen panel provides direct access to the water. additionally the cedar screen provides the structure for the butterfly roof above that directs and delivers rainwater to a collection cistern located beside the structure. An internal charcoal filter and ultraviolet light treat the water for potable use. Rooftop mounted photovoltaic cells provide the necessary power to run the water pump, refrigeration, fans and lighting providing for a truly independent overnight living situation.

Cape-Russell-Retreat-By-Sanders-Pace-Architecture-08-759x521 Cape Russell Retreat / Sanders Pace Architecture

© Jeffrey Jacobs

Project Data:

Project name: Cape Russell Retreat
Location: Sharps Chapel, Tennessee, United States
Type:

  • Type By Characteristic: Cabin / Hut / Cottage, Holiday House, Green & Sustainable House
  • Type By Site: Forest House, Lake House
  • Type By Size: Tiny House – (less than 51 sqm)
  • Type By Materials: Wooden House

Site Area: 0.94 acres
Project Area: 16.3 sqm (176 Sq.ft)
Status: Built
Project Year: May 2009
Budget: $47,200.00
Completion Year: Spring 2009

Awards:

  • 2012 The American Institute of Architect (AIA Awards) – National Small Project Awards
  • The American Institute of Architect (AIA Awards) – AIA Tennessee Award of Excellence
  • The American Institute of Architect (AIA Awards) – AIA East Tennessee Award of Honor
  • 2011 Custom Home Magazine Award – Grand Award

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Suzanne Shelton + Corinne Nicolas
Architects: Sanders Pace Architecture,Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
Principal in Charge: Brandon F. Pace
Project Team: Brandon F. Pace, John L. Sanders, Michael A. Davis
Construction Manager: Jake Iglehart
Carpentry: JTI Construction
Steel: UMI Fabrication
Rainwater Harvesting consultant + contractor: Blue Ridge Atlantic Enterprises
Off-Grid solar: system consultant + contractor: Sustainable Futures
Text Description: © Courtesy of Sanders Pace Architecture
Images: © Jeffrey Jacobs, Sanders Pace Architecture

The products:

Kitchen fittings: Delta
Paints/stains/wall finishes: Cabot Stains
Solar energy system: BP Solar

Location Map:

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Cape Russell Retreat / Sanders Pace Architecture
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