Heavilin Road House


The Heavilin Road Residence is an accessible, sustainable single family home for a young family of three. The house is sited in a formerly agricultural area that has been reclaimed and restored to a more native prairie and wetland typical of the region.

In plan, the house consists of a series of strong East to West walls directing and focusing the natural breezes present on the gently sloping site. Passive solar considerations inform the design as well. Excess heat is absorbed in the concrete floor in the day, and it is released into the space at night.

2006 AIA Northern Indiana Honor Award


A clear public/private planning relationship is also developed from East to West. A similar dichotomy exists in the exterior spaces. For example, the Breezeway to the North provides a cool area in warm months, while the patio to the South provides a warm sunny area during cooler months. The geometric pergola, covered with grapes, provides needed shade for the living room windows in summer.

The house is designed on one level to provide for full accessibility. This desire, along with the sloping nature of the site, influences the siting of the house. The house accentuates the existing contours by becoming partially submerged along the West side. This also creates the possibility of a sunken vegetable garden that traps heat and extends the growing season.

A strong desire for sustainable design directed the Architect to reclaim local hardwood from a nearby site. Interior trim and ceilings are crafted from trees that had blown down in storms during the design phases. The trees were sawn locally and dried using a solar-powered kiln. The house is super-insulated, and the insulation is composed of a recycled cellulosic material. The natural winds found on the site are accentuated by large overhangs and a gently sloping ceiling to promote air movement during the warm months of the year.

Cypress siding and copper detailing and flashing provide long lasting durability with relatively low maintenance. Vertical copper dividing strips allow for less twisting and movement of the siding while working within the modern language of the house. The front column is a branch from a Burr Oak tree recycled from a neighboring property.


The house is built using low cost wood frame construction and a slab on grade. Standard size windows help to keep the overall project budget low. Ground and polished concrete floors contain hydronic heating to provide an even temperature and low cost operation. Ceiling fans provide air movement during summer months.

The Architect also designed and built many of the furniture elements including the dining table, custom shelves, and bedroom furnishings.