pittura.................musica.................illuminazione...............architettura................parole perse...........





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villa bouche

sevierville, tn


A private botanical garden grows out of a private mountain top



Perched upon a south-facing summit in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, Villa Bouche does not fit in the local definition of a mountain house. Though local, sustainably-harvested White Oak wood and Tennessee river rock can be found throughout the villa, white stucco dominates with accents of black and the occasional primary color. Upon approaching, the first impression is that of some kind of temple,
but the only god to be found here is nature.
  The public spaces (interior garden, living room, dining area and kitchen) sit on top of the mountain, while the master and guest suites are built into the mountain. With grass and native plants on the roofs and the earth surrounding the walls acting as insulation, the bedrooms require little energy
to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the year.

Entrance and Botanical Garden.

Covered walkway to the
guest suites.

  An interior courtyard/ botanical garden featuring a variety of plants from around the world is the main focal point upon entering. In the winter when the surrounding forest outside is dormant, this interior garden is in full bloom. In the summer, the electronically controlled glass panels can be opened up
taking advantage of the mountain breezes.


Botanical Garden


The structure of the botanical garden is supported by a system of black steel arches arranged in the form of an elongated octagon.
Prefabricated concrete panels and low-e glass panels enclose the space. Sub-surface drip irrigation controlled by sensors keep the gardens,
inside and outside, hydrated and conserve water.


Living Room
looking out over the


Private corridor
to the Master Suite


Covered walkway
to the Guest Suites

  Construction involved a tight envelope and abundant insulation. Conservation of water and energy plays a key role in the design.
Water harvesting from the roofs of the public spaces and grey water recycling keep water needs low.
Along with solar panels and the green roofs, and thermal mass used throughout, the villa comes close to a net-zero-energy home.


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