The Crabill family bought a 5-acre forested lot in Hillsborough, NC and hired Tonic Design to build them a a simple, modern home that minimized its impact on the environment. They also had to stick to a budget and wanted a unique live/work space that inspired creativity. Tonic's resulting design drew inspiration from regional agricultural structures and used simple and low maintenance materials to create a striking home that fit the needs of the family. Built for a modest $155 per sq ft, the Crabill House is energy efficient, avoids disturbing the natural environment, and maximizes natural lighting.
Located in a clearing in a lush forest is the Crabill house, which is characterized as a trapezoidal volume with a shed roof. The skewed cubic form, inspired by old farm sheds, is clad in solid and perforated Corteen steel, which will weather with age and never require any maintenance. This durable shell acts as a rainscreen, canopy, sunshade, and visual screen. Under the shell is a two-story home with an entry, an open floor plan living, dining and kitchen along with a studio and music room on the ground floor. The upstairs contains the master suite, two kids bedrooms, a bath and a shared loft space.
To minimize energy use, the home features spray foam insulation, tightly sealed ducts, low-e glazed windows, maximized daylighting, and Energy Star appliances. Tonic Design handled the design and construction of the home, which resulted in savings and a cost of $155 per sq ft. The home sits within the forest but tries not to impact it, rather to enjoy it with framed views of forest, including a favorite three-trunked tree. As a result of their efforts to conserve the natural habitat, the National Wildlife Federation recently certified the Crabill property as a natural habitat.
Images ©Richard Leo Johnson