Fieldstone House

Fieldstone House

Bruns Architecture
Richfield, Wisconsin, United States | View Map
Project Year
Private Houses
Tricia Shay Photography

Fieldstone House

Bruns Architecture as Architects

On a site consisting of both a small farm field and the heavily wooded topography of two glacial kettles, Fieldstone House makes its own distinct imprint upon the land.


The owners were drawn to the topography of the site, an undisturbed parcel along the east side of two glacial kettles. The design objective was to carefully place a residence within the landscape—one that pays homage to the natural surroundings and maximizes views of the glacial kettles.


The Plan

Approaching the house’s entry, one’s view is framed by steel trellises and a notch in the stone wall focusing attention on the woodland topography beyond. Once inside, the view is again aligned through the house and towards the forest. Beginning south of the entry, continuing through the interior spaces and extending back out to the north, a fieldstone wall organizes circulation and provides an inherent connection and orientation to the site.


The house’s primary living spaces are collected in a tall volume on the woodland side, with support spaces in the smaller, flat-roofed structure on the field side. The geometries of these forms respond to the varied site conditions as they address the hierarchical program within.


The Structure           

The roof of the primary volume gently slopes to a central valley, subtly reminiscent of the adjacent glacial topography.Within the entry, a cedar wall extends down past a timber and steel stair providing visual connection between the two levels.Centered in the main volume, a board-formed concrete chimney engages and anchors both levels. Wood burning fireplaces are enjoyed from both sides of this element, offering flickering views through its mass while providing visual screening from one space to the next.


The house has low-e, argon filled triple pane glazing throughout. Opaque walls are thermally optimized with air-tight foam insulation. Radiant heat is utilized within polished concrete floor slabs on both levels. The mass of the concrete retains the heat energy and distributes it evenly throughout the day. The south facing eave is precisely extended to allow sunlight to fully penetrate the space on winter days, while passively providing shade in the summer.


Project Area:  

2,754 sqf main level (256 sqm); 2,500 sqf lower level (232 sqm)


The Materials

Zinc panels hang like drapes on the façade from the clerestory down to the lower level, blurring the floor line that threads between the spaces. The warm grey metal is balanced with smooth cedar siding that wraps the flat volumes. The taught application highlights a larger geometric composition of the components and blends warmly with the surrounding vegetation.


The fieldstone used for the main circulation wall was collected from a nearby site after being brought to the region in a glacier originating in Canada. The veneer itself was polished smooth by glacial activity. And the striations on the surface are the result of debris within the ice that was dragged across the setting stone.

Project Credits
Structural engineering
Product Spec Sheet

Windows and Doors – Triple Pane, Aluminum Clad Douglas FirLoewen
Facade Cladding – Standing SeamRHEINZINK America
Translucent Cedar Finish – Log and SidingSikkens
Facade Cladding – Flush, smooth profile tongue and grooveWestern Red Cedar
Product Spec Sheet
Windows and Doors – Triple Pane, Aluminum Clad Douglas Fir
by Loewen
Facade Cladding – Standing Seam
Translucent Cedar Finish – Log and Siding
by Sikkens
Facade Cladding – Flush, smooth profile tongue and groove
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