This naturally-ventilated residence spans a ravine in rural Iowa, providing expansive views of the surrounding forest. Architecture studio BNIM designed the Ravine Residence, which is geothermally cooled and heated, to connect its inhabitants to nature and provide optimum privacy using existing topography and vegetation.

Ravine Residence, BNIM, Iowa, cedar cladding, natural ventilation, geothermal heating and cooling, floor-to-ceiling glass, green architecture, forest home

The house is tucked away in a heavily wooded area in rural Iowa that required a dramatic solution to address the ravine running down the middle of the site. The solution is a raised space the spans across the sloping elevation. The entrance and bedrooms are located on opposite banks, and the primary living areas serve as a bridge between the two sides.

Ravine Residence, BNIM, Iowa, cedar cladding, natural ventilation, geothermal heating and cooling, floor-to-ceiling glass, green architecture, forest home

Related: Modern Corum Residence Rises Out of the Bucolic Iowa Countryside

The clients commissioned BNIM to create a home which would offer privacy, but also offer a strong connection to the surrounding landscape. This requirement determined the articulation of the facades and volumes. Floor-to-ceiling glass on both the north and south sides of the living areas provides expansive views of the surrounding forest, creating a high level of transparency while utilizing the terrain and vegetation to shelter the interior spaces from outside views.

Ravine Residence, BNIM, Iowa, cedar cladding, natural ventilation, geothermal heating and cooling, floor-to-ceiling glass, green architecture, forest home

The building has optimized solar orientation and shading, geothermal heating and cooling, enhanced natural ventilation, high performance windows, and advanced insulation techniques.

+ BNIM

Via Dwell

Photos by Kelly Callewaert | BNIM

Ravine Residence, BNIM, Iowa, cedar cladding, natural ventilation, geothermal heating and cooling, floor-to-ceiling glass, green architecture, forest home

Ravine Residence, BNIM, Iowa, cedar cladding, natural ventilation, geothermal heating and cooling, floor-to-ceiling glass, green architecture, forest home

Ravine Residence, BNIM, Iowa, cedar cladding, natural ventilation, geothermal heating and cooling, floor-to-ceiling glass, green architecture, forest home

Ravine Residence, BNIM, Iowa, cedar cladding, natural ventilation, geothermal heating and cooling, floor-to-ceiling glass, green architecture, forest home