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Selecting Your Architectural Style Part Two

Posted on Jan 11, 2019

Selecting a preferred architectural style is a natural and early step when beginning to think about your Riverbend home. For some future owners, this decision can be one of the most difficult parts of the pre-design process. This article is the second in our three-part series about selecting an architectural style. By providing you insights into each style of design, we hope to help you narrow down to your favorite architectural style.

riverbend timber framing traditional style home

Riverbend Timber Framing Residence in Michigan

Part one of this series on architectural style explored two very different design styles: Mountain and European. This second article provides the same level of detail by juxtaposing Traditional style timber frame architecture with that of The Moderns™ by Riverbend. The contrasts between these two home styles are readily apparent. Though both present the classic sophistication of a timber frame home, only The Moderns™ incorporates elements of mid-century modern design.

Modern Style Architecture

The 2017 debut of The Moderns™ by Riverbend was a significant moment for mid-century modern and timber frame fans alike. By combining the elegance of a timber frame home with the appealing echoes of iconic mid-century architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra, the single-level living and clean lines of modern architecture were enhanced with the warmth and durability of a timber frame. Suddenly, exterior timber bents supported extended roofs and interior timbers opened shared spaces to allow a flood of light through modern, oversized, windows.


Riverbend Modern Style Architectural Rendering

Starkly contrasting with the peaked roof and symmetrical windows of Traditional style architecture, The Moderns™ boasts flat, angular roofs and distinctly asymmetrical profiles (i). Known for their expansive walls of glass, one of the most beloved elements of The Moderns™ home style is the blending of outdoor spaces with indoor ones. This is evidenced both through the generous use of glass and the smooth transitions designed between these homes’ indoor and outdoor areas.

The easy flow between nature and home is one reason why those who enjoy a milder climate are attracted to The Moderns™ as outdoor fireplaces and dining areas are popular features. A beautiful representation of this fluidity is the 1959 Stahl House (ii), (shown below), designed by architect and professor, Pierre Koenig. This Hollywood Hills, California home, now listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places is considered a giant in its representation of modern architecture.

The Case Study House No. 22 Stahl House. Photo by Ovs.

One shared detail between The Moderns™ and Traditional architectural style is where these homes work best. Eclectic neighborhoods with a variety of architectural styles are as welcoming to mid-century-modern style homes as they are to Traditional ones. Modern architecture also works beautifully in the following locations:

• Large lots with plenty of privacy
• Areas where they stand out as a showpiece
• Wooded areas
• Established neighborhoods of Prairie-style or Mid-century Modern architecture

Strong geometric shapes, uncluttered facades, and bold outdoor spaces, provide owners of modern style homes with visual interest and delightful possibilities. If The Moderns™ architectural style sounds like it meets your tastes and your tastes and your lifestyle, learn more about the collection, and how you can begin designing your cutting-edge home, here. Browse this architectural style’s floor plan concepts here.

Traditional Style Architecture

Whether part of an established neighborhood or nestled behind the dunes of a sweeping beach, Traditional architecture is where timber framing frequently has it best opportunity to make a show. You can expect gorgeous hardwood timbers to lend an enticing accent throughout your home, making it warm and welcoming from entry to egress.

Cook County entryway

Riverbend Traditional Style Architecture in Illinois

With distinct architectural features that typically include simplified roof lines and gabled dormers, Traditional style timber frame homes also tend to incorporate shingles, clapboard siding, or natural stone. This style of home makes practical use of smaller-sized windows, designing their placement for both privacy in bedrooms and common areas, in addition to enhancing the home’s energy efficiency.

Another not insignificant advantage of Traditional architecture is that it never goes out of style. Traditional style homes have consistently endured, translating to all scales of home building. This architectural style also works well in:

• Historic neighborhoods
• New and / or expanding housing developments
• Locations where open floor plans are expected
• Eclectic neighborhoods with varying architectural styles

As always, the size and shape of your build site plays a large part in determining what will and will not work for your custom home. That being written, Traditional style architecture allows flexibility in site orientation, lot specifications, and design. The North Carolina residence below, shows a Riverbend home built on a dramatically sloped lot.

Exterior, horizontal, rear elevation overall, residence, Murphy, North Carolina; Riverbend

Riverbend Traditional Style Architecture in North Carolina

Plenty of timber frame aficionados select Traditional style architecture for their homes. It only makes sense for them to do so as this architectural style showcases the timbers beautifully. If you want to fall in love with timber framing again and again, Traditional style architecture may be the perfect choice for you.

Summing It Up

As you research and plan your timber frame home, knowing distinctions between differing architectural styles will surely assist you. The Moderns™ emphasis on single-level living and seamless blending of indoor and outdoor living, easily accommodates those wishing to age-in-place as much as it does a younger couple or those who enjoy outdoor living space. Traditional style architecture, with its gabled dormers, smaller windows, and focus on the timbers themselves, provides easy privacy in denser neighborhoods and brings the gleaming timber artistry into sharper focus.

Please return to our website in two weeks for the third and final article in this series about selecting your architectural style. You will learn details around Riverbend Timber Framing Barn style homes versus those of our Craftsman style homes. Need to read Part One in this series? Click here.

(i) Snow load on flat rooflines is a consideration when reviewing The Moderns™. Ask your architectural designer for additional details specific to your build site.
(ii) The Stahl House has been used in a number of films, commercials, photo shoots, and more. You can read more about its history here.
(iii) Ovs photo via English Wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons; The Case Study House No. 22 — Stahl House — Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California.

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