South Toe Retreat Front View Rendering

South Toe Retreat

South Toe Retreat

Location: Celo, NC
Type: New Construction

Located along a woodland knoll, South Toe Retreat was designed as an artist’s home and studio that inspired creativity and calm for our clients and their family and friends. The land is wrapped on 3 sides by the South Toe River. The sound and sparkle of light of the river, along with dramatic rock outcroppings and mountain views across the valley, define the character of the land and the design response.

Project Team
Builder: Tyner Construction
Landscape: Drake Design Concepts

Seeing and hearing the river from the house was important, and a challenge, due to the steep topography of the river valley. Building near the river would require massive clearing and grading of the forest, so we placed the house at the top of the valley and at the edge of a forested knoll. The steep ravine allows dramatic views from the home into the tree canopy and down to the water while the gently sloping knoll provides an easy connection to flat outdoor areas for gathering, working, and walking out to the trails.

The home, workshop, and artist studio, are located around the perimeter of the knoll, preserving the forest from any disturbance. The workshop and studio are placed to either side of the entry drive acting as a gateway arrival point. The form and palette of the buildings diminish the building’s prominence on the landscape. A low roof form allows for views over the home and stained cedar siding and dark tones preserve the views of landscape with a restrained design.

A Preliminary Site Plan that shows the path of the river around the property. Plan by Drake Fowler.

South Toe Retreat River View