Located within the active agricultural landscape of North Dakota are three hundred acres of former farmland in the process of undergoing prairie restoration. Bisected by the Red River of the North, the site floods annually; at times reaching twenty-five feet above the river banks. The challenge presented was to integrate the design of a residence within the site so that it would be an intrinsic part of the prairie landscape while addressing the flood that its proximity to the adjacent river and oxbow brings. The house is sited and structured for the extreme weather conditions, while at the same time treads lightly on the prairie and minimizes its visual and environmental presence.
Douglas Fir and weathering Corten steel have been selected for use throughout the project for their longevity and ability to weather naturally. The cladding materials will transition from the interior to the exterior emphasizing the buildings connection to the landscape. Passive solar and geothermal systems will work in conjunction with a super insulated building shell, and are designed to drastically reduce energy consumption and dramatically reduce this building’s environmental impact. On site water reclamation is used to recharge the surrounding wetlands and filter into the prairie.