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 that required a dramatic solution to address the ravine running down the center of the location. The solution is a raised space the spans across the sloping elevation. The entry and bedrooms are located on opposite banks. The main living spaces act as a bridge connecting each side.

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 the bridged area offers extensive views of the area’s vegetation and creates transparency, while the terrain and forest protect 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 team incorporated sustainability in the home’s design. BNIM wrote that 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