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Butterfly House

A sweeping butterfly roof and an informal modern aesthetic define this contemporary house in rural Kentucky.

Longing to return to her childhood home, our client acquired a 6 acre property in Goshen, Kentucky – a hilly, wooded lot with a pond, a convergence of streams and bucolic views of surrounding open horse pastures. She felt a strong connection with this placid environment and wanted to grace it with a modestly scaled modern home.

The forested rural context inspired the design process. As we worked closely with the client to craft her dream home, we were careful to make that sure each of our design decisions framed views or provided connections to her beautiful surroundings.

After considering the client’s needs and her passion for modern design, we used a butterfly roof as a simple gesture that creates the home’s two volumes – the larger main living space and smaller master suite – and ties them together in a dynamic form. The gently rising roof opens up, allowing larger views into the trees, and also created high enough spaces to stack two bedrooms and a loft under the highest portion.

The house has a rustic modern aesthetic. Warm, inviting materials such as cedar siding, wood beams, and stone walls complement the rural context. Clean lines, simple detailing, and large expanses of glass minimize the building and emphasize the connections to the outdoors.

We positioned the house on the crest of a hill to take advantage of panoramic views, and realized that strategic placement of windows should be given high priority. The glassy living room features dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows that look out upon a pond and the forest, and allow nature into the home. The surrounding terrace and deck further blur the line between interior and exterior living space.


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