After a Home Is Destroyed by Fire, a Family Uses Reclaimed and Reused Materials to Start Again

lakehouse, reclaimed, reused

When something good starts to form amid destruction, it brings with it many emotions—the most powerful of which is hope.

On the banks of Fort Loudoun Lake in Louisville, Tenn., a small town just outside Knoxville, sits a sprawling log home reminiscent of a mountain lodge. However, this home has much more personality thanks to its parts and pieces from an array of other storied and historical structures.

The showpiece of the great room is the floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. It was recovered from the original house that burned, restored and installed in the house with the support of surrounding stone repurposed from a barn’s foundation.

After fire destroyed the original log home in 2011, the homeowners quickly knew they wanted to rebuild in that location, enhancing and improving upon the original design and using the abundant materials reclaimed from the fire and collected over time.

As plans started forming and sketches were made, hope started to emerge.

COHESIVE DESIGN FROM DISPARATE PARTS

What do you get when you combine elements from three 1800s barns, century-old warehouses, a fireplace that survived a fire and lots of modern amenities?

It’s not a trick question. The answer is: an absolutely immaculate and interesting 6,800-square-foot, single-family home that seamlessly melds dozens of materials of various vintage.

The trick was making all the materials work together to form a beautiful, cohesive look, so a visitor would not invest time trying to sort the old from new but rather feel comfortable exploring interesting finishes and design in a peaceful setting.

Residents and their houseguests will not find lots of busy textiles, window treatments or paint colors in this home. All the character that would otherwise come from those elements is supplied by varying wood tones, natural stone, metal and tile that provide a wholly natural color palette that keeps a myriad of patinas and textures from competing.

Natural artwork is supplied by the multiple large windows that provide sweeping views of the rolling, tree-covered Tennessee hills.

Natural artwork is supplied by the multiple large windows that provide sweeping views of the rolling, tree-covered Tennessee hills. A four-level deck on the back of the home with multiple seating areas provides spots to take in the beautiful lake vistas.

ENHANCE AND PRESERVE

The architectural team from Johnson Architecture in Knoxville brought extensive preservation and restoration experience to the project, understanding that flexibility is key when working with reclaimed and preserved materials.

The bulk of the home’s structure came from three barns that were built in east Tennessee in the 1800s. Before the barns were disassembled and stored, they were thoroughly documented so the history of each was not lost. The design team worked closely with the contractor and homeowner to photo-document each barn frame, tag each of the framing members, and disassemble and carefully transport and store the timber components. The process also included the creation of 3D computer models of each timber frame so scenarios for the new home’s structural frame could be studied.

Once the design studies were completed and a direction was selected, a structural oak frame from the trio of barns was reassembled to create the main roof line and spine of the new home. The great room has soaring ceilings with massive beams that feature the interior frame of one of the barns that was completely preserved.

PHOTOS: Peter Montanti, Mountain Photographics Inc., and Johnson Architecture Inc.

About the Author

Daryl Johnson, AIA, NCARB
Daryl Johnson, AIA, NCARB, is president, principal architect and director of design for Johnson Architecture Inc.

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