House in the Woods / archimania


Architect: archimania
Location: Smyrna, TN,
Client: Baker & Rhonda Raborn
General Contractor: Homeowner, consulting with Architect
Project year: 2006
Budget: US$ 289,000
Project Area: 278.7 sqm
Photographs: © Jeffrey Jacobs Photography

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House in the Woods is a progressive home for a young family in rural Tennessee. The home responds to their needs for functionality and practicality, while staying within a budget of $100 per square foot.

Set on seven wooded acres, the home’s design draws from its context by utilizing raw, natural materials and simple forms. As a result, the home’s budget was kept at $100/ SF.

site plan
site plan
first floor plan
first floor plan

The home is designed in three simple parts: 1) main house, 2) rear family room/ screen porch and 3) garage. The main house mirrors the mass and scale of a log home on the adjoining property, and its material selection speaks to rural outbuildings in the region. The structure is wrapped in low-maintenance corrugated metal and concrete board slats, while expansive windows serve to maximize views and light. The upper slat detail also conjures images of rustic barns in the surrounding countryside.

To define the L-shaped plan, the design incorporates a separate wing containing an expansive double-height screened porch. This rear porch allows for plenty of daytime sunlight, as well as sweeping views of the surrounding forest. This wing is similar to a detached “lean-to” as it relates to the main house.


The garage to the north is a simple and passive shed structure. Adjacent to the porch wing, it is deliberately detached to accommodate the owner’s hobby of rebuilding and restoring cars. This detachment prevents troublesome noise reaching the main house.

The home’s design is significant in that it offers a simple solution to rural housing while providing an alternate to an “off the shelf” ranch style home commonly found in the area.

Cite: "House in the Woods / archimania" 15 Aug 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <>
  • Fudge

    Not a fan of the roof pitches, this would have worked better as a flatter roof construction. Its as if a poor extension has been attached only its a new build.

    • 10.2

      A flatter roof construction might have LOOKED better (though I don’t think so) but good luck with the leaves building up on there once fall comes around.

  • Scarpasez

    $289k…that’s fantastic. Great plan, great finishes.

  • Alec Murgia

    Desing very prolix!

  • Geruvah

    He must’ve gotten this budget since the homeowner was also the contractor. Boy does the house look great. I’m not a fan of the roof, I would see it being done differently.