Assistant Professor Brian Grieb, AIA, LEED BD+C, and his architectural design practice, GriD architects, was recently selected for an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects West Virginia (AIA WV) Chapter, for their design of Ridge House in Berkeley Springs, WV. One of only 3 projects recognized for outstanding design excellence, Ridge house was the only residential project to receive recognition from 2014 AIA WV Chapter.
“This house,” the judges said, “is all about response to site and environment with a touch of poetry to boot.” Perched on a narrow site overlooking the Potomac River, this home was designed to replace a plain, ordinary rancher that was destroyed by fire. Though tragic, the client saw this as an opportunity to re-imagine their humble weekend retreat. As a painter and art historian respectively, they sought a replacement that was modest yet inspiring, consisting of a small painting studio, study, master suite, living room, dining room and kitchen.
Paramount to their programmatic needs was a shared aspiration for the house to connect and preserve the beauty of the site; permitting nature to permeate the domestic realm. This emphasis on amplifying the particulars of the site led to decisions which impacted every aspect of the design including its function, form, and overall sustainability, often resolving these issues simultaneously.