El Dorado Inc designed this 4,500-square-foot house for Dave Byers and his family. Byers is a structural engineer who has collaborated with the firm on multiple projects. The residence is located in the prairie southeast of Kansas City.
Cedar rainscreen in a range of widths and color stains makes up the facade. The low-slung exterior was designed to respond to the surrounding topography. "The design of the house provides a subtle, and at times, dramatic response to the open Midwestern terrain and offers a contemporary interpretation of 'prairie style' architecture," El Dorado Inc principal Josh Shelton says.
A system of clerestory windows, positioned underneath a cantilevered roof, strategically filters natural light through the interior. A full-height window in the living area provides dramatic views of passing storms.
The family has three children, including an autistic son, a factor the architects took into careful consideration. The dwelling is divided into two wings, which are joined by an enclosed courtyard. The son has full access to the courtyard, which is visible from multiple viewpoints throughout the house, from his bedroom suite. "The layout of the house and a protected courtyard on the open plains carefully considered family unity and family autonomy within a safe context," Shelton says.
The home also prioritizes safety with expansive, open living spaces. The interior flooring features radiant heating.
"The client served as the structural engineer and the general contractor, so the collaboration with the architect was very intimate on multiple fronts," Shelton says.