Black Mountain Cross | AIA Atlanta
Merit Award

Black Mountain Cross

  • Year: 2023
  • Entry Categories: Single-Family – Contemporary

Black Mountain Cross

The design parti is a simple skewed cruciform shape. The public wing is a shorter, wider section that orients to the distant mountain ranges. The narrower private bedroom wing, orients to a closer ridge view

The main focus of the public wing are the views. An operable corner window wall orients the visitor’s focus to the exterior decks and subsequent views beyond. The glass panels open behind the stove linking the space to the hot tub and on the view axis to a covered deck. The finishes are natural concrete, a variety of oak finishes on floor, wall and ceiling with sho sugi ban accents. They balance each other well providing a neutral color palate within the natural light-filled spaces.

At the intersection of these forms, is one of the main project features – a custom 10-person hot tub. This was the first item mentioned by the owners in the design process and is the kingpin of the design. The hot tub deck has a private changing room with shower and links the bedroom wing to the main living wing of the building. The deck steps down around the tub on each side revealing the waterfall edge where the water return disappears between the tub and the deck.

The deck off the kitchen faces the street and is covered, allowing space for grill and small table. The entry deck has full exposure to the distant mountain views and wildlife, a great spot to enjoy morning coffee or a meal with both soft seating around a firepit and table and chairs. The rear deck includes a modern porch swing, from which to enjoy the views, a great place to read a book or take an afternoon nap while enjoying the contemplative setting.

The master and guest bedroom wing is linked by a corridor with a sloped ceiling and sho sugi ban wall. The rooms themselves include minimalist finishes, strategically placed windows, accent walls and vaulted ceilings of board and battened oak accent walls. The bathrooms have unique showers with milk glass walls to the exterior, porcelain tile walls and floors. The master bath includes a shower double vanity and more luxurious space.

The homeowners association mandated a garage that the owners did not want to feature. As a result, the garage was buried into the hillside underneath the entry porch. A lower-level game/bunk room was added underneath the living room with room for future expansion. At the intersection of the two guiding geometries, a communicating spiral stair connects the lower level to the foyer above.

The exterior materials were controlled by the homeowners association. The main finish of the house is natural ash board and batten siding with random spacing. The roof is standing seam metal and the foundation is natural concrete. The house is meant to weather over time, thus harmonizing and blending with the surrounding dense woods.

  • Firm35 Degrees North
  • Project LocationBlack Mountain, North Carolina
  • Completion DateMarch 1, 2021
  • Architects and Designers Max Neiswander, AIA
  • Structural EngineerDean & Associates, Inc.
  • General ContractorSteel Root Builders,