Sweetwater Farm Schematic Site Plan

My family is exploring the purchase of a 16 acres horse farm in Swannanoa, NC, adjacent to Warren Wilson College. As a part of the exploration, I developed a conceptual site plan based on converting the use of the land from pasture to orchards, gardens and food forest or edible forest gardens.

The organizing principle revolves around establishing a ‘home zone’ around the main house and adjacent outdoor spaces, circled by a row of planted trees. Three additional zones or rings radiate out from this central space to create a framework to develop gardens, orchards, food forests and reforestation areas over time. The site plan represents thinking on the time-scale of forest, allowing for an organic unfolding of development, responding to the needs of the land and the people inhabiting it.


It’s been a while since I’ve really had a chance to dive into 3-D design tools for architecture. I switched software platforms from what I used to use (formZ) to 3DS Max Design 2009. It’s a *very* powerful 3D package, especially when it comes to it’s photorealistic rendering capabilities. It’s also a *very* deep and complex program and it’s taking me a bit to get up to speed. This is an early render for a project I’m working on.

Birdseye - SW

HJ Master Suite (Unbuilt)

This is one of my favorite small house designs that unfortunately was never realized. It is a freestanding master suite for a couple and their visiting grandkids on their Sonoma, California land. The footprint is very compact in order to minimize impact on the site. It is situated adjacent to the existing swimming pool and so becomes somewhat of the pool house, with a generous covered porch to enjoy a poolside view on hot summer days.

It’s form is thin and tall, with an ascending promenade into, up and through the house that culminates at the roof deck which serves as an aerial perch for watching birds and taking in the stunning Sonoma Valley landscape.

Click here or on the image below to view the 3D sketches.

Birdseye View from the Southwest