Cahaba River House

Bibb County, Alabama

There are special projects where everything just comes together, and this project is a prime example of that.

First, it was the site – a completely isolated piece of land overlooking the Cahaba River near Birmingham. Then, it was the perfect blend of architect, contractor and client that came together and contributed ideas, direction and expertise to co-author something that blends seamlessly with its surroundings and looks as if it has been on site for not just a year, but for generations.

Since we started only with basic drawings, the team relied heavily on live decision making – much like a house would have been constructed centuries ago. We made intentional choices as the project grew because of this approach, the project constantly evolved while we tested new ideas and different scenarios. A true dream for a creative team like ours and an opportunity that doesn’t come along very often.

The end result is a home that truly reflects an intentional response to the home’s context and environment. The stone was locally sourced from the client’s own land near the homesite. The timber used to frame the house was milled locally, as well. We used an innovative technique in the custom designed long planked roof system and clad it in shingles made of bark from local poplar trees.

The resulting 2,157 square foot, three bedroom, three bathroom home is truly a merging of time-tested techniques and materials and innovative ones.

Project Type


Year Built



2017 The Palladio Award

2017 AIA Alabama Award