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Three Bridge House

Three Bridge House

Location: Lake James, NC / Type: New Construction

The Three Bridge House is a refined lake house in North Carolina at Lake James. We decided to work with the complicated land by building a house that bridged over three rocky ravines. We took design inspiration from old wooden bridges to create a home rooted to the landscape.

While walking the land at the start of the project, we were taken by the amazing long-range views of Mount Mitchell to the west and lake views to the south. Though the property’s complicated terrain presented a challenge, the views drew the owners to the property in the first place. Three ravines divide the peninsula-shaped property that is heavily wooded with steep slopes. The ideal house site provided visual connections to the views but meant the majority of the home would bisect the most significant of the three ravines. Together, with the owners, we decided to build across it.

This house complements the land while remaining hidden from view from anyone out enjoying the lake. We modeled the home’s look and feel after old wooden bridges you’d find in the countryside, using native materials and a narrow footprint. The mass of the home follows along the natural contours of the land until the house itself becomes a bridge over the ravine.  There are two smaller bridges within the home – one that carries you to the front entrance and one that connects the garage to the main body of the home.

The primary living space hovers over the land as the home’s main bridge. The so-called “Bridge Room” holds the kitchen, dining and living and is capped at the end with a screened porch. This room is spacious, with heavy timbers and natural stone that perfectly frame the view of Lake James. This space is anchored into the land by a fireplace and mirroring built-in bookshelf.

The Loggia is the main walkthrough that connects the garage to the interior spaces. One side is a wall of windows while the opposite wall, floor and ceiling are wrapped in stained natural wood.  The horizontal plank of the wall conceals two doors connecting the space to a guest suite and laundry room.

The staircase sits at the center of the home. The volume is open to all three floors and feels like the timber wrapped stairs are floating. At the bottom of the stairs sits a recreation room, study and two guest bedrooms. At the top of the stairs is a bedroom dubbed “The Treehouse.”  The Treehouse sits at the top of the tree canopy and is the best spot to watch the sunset through the U-shaped set of ribbon windows.

Three Bridge House Exterior Twilight Front Entry