Strength is the first word that comes to mind when looking at this mid-century home in Knoxville, Tennessee. Built by Bruce McCarty in 1959, it is no surprises that it remained with its first owner for over 50 years. After all, why would you want to part with such a place?
Considering this sense of strength, one of the obvious cues is the presence of built-in elements throughout the house. Take for instance, the bench on the stairs’ middle landing, made of two simple yet solid slabs of wood.
Also consider the desk, cupboard and stairs on the higher landing, which blends in with the wood panels cladding the walls along the corridor. And perhaps most impressively, the room on the lower floor (pictured with Persian rug), features modest, yet robust cupboard lining both sides of the room.
Strength is also the watchword in the vast central living area, which benefits from windows stretching from the floor to the roof, spanning two storeys. The roof is supported by unadorned steel beams, in between which is a sheer white ceiling.
The uncomplicated sparseness of these structural elements, combined with highly polished, high quality wood in the room itself, again lends an overall sense of robustness to the space.
Indeed, in Dr Baker’s words, “The koalas, possums, bull ants species, many small birds and the wallabies all rely on the delicate, struggling foliage of the mally trees and their under story for survival.” It’s a noble approach that clearly lives on in the house itself.
Photo by Mark Haddawy