English Country-Inspired Custom Home Named Home of the Year in National Design Competition

January 12, 2017

The Swann Wynd Bridge House in Chattahoochee Hills, Ga., has been selected as Home of the Year in the 2016 Best in American Living™ Awards (BALA) by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The 2,475-square-foot house is inspired by English countryside residences but crafted with local materials. The building forms are based on European vernacular elements such as steep roof pitches and narrow building masses. The expression is intentionally simple, and the material palette is minimalist and balanced.

Perched on a wooded outcropping above the bend of a small creek, the Swann Wynd Bridge house takes inspiration from the setting’s beauty and the challenges of its unusual features. A scenic footbridge adjacent to the house crosses the creek and connects to a pedestrian cobblestone road lined with other houses that form a community inspired by the character of hamlets in the Cotswolds region of England.

The challenge of meeting the need for privacy with a public footbridge attached to the house required significant thought: The designer set the main floor of the house eight feet higher than the bridge surface. This places occupants above the passersby, fostering a sense of separation while also maintaining views of the outdoors. The living room functions like a traditional porch: Residents can open the large windows and engage with the outside world or close them for privacy.

The design of the four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath house offers the full range of home owner experiences on the small 1/10-acre lot while also serving the pedestrian scale of the community. The design combines efficient space planning with generous details, such as an open-stair hall, 12-foot vaulted ceilings, numerous large windows and tranquil outdoor spaces.

The home was designed by Rhinehart Pulliam & Company and built by Bynum Custom Homes, both based in Georgia. The interior designers for the project were J. Hirsch Interior Design, The Design Atelier, Robert Brown Interior Design, Y. McFadden, LLC, J. Wheeler Designs, HMS Designs, KMH Interiors, Harrison Design Associates, J. Witzel Design, Mark Williams Design Assoc. and Melanie Davis Design.

In its 33rd year, BALA recognizes outstanding achievement by builders and design professionals in all sectors of the residential industry, including single-family production, custom, rental, affordable, interiors, remodeling, community and international. Award winners were announced at the annual NAHB International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla.

Additional information about the BALA program is at nahb.org/BALA, including the 2016 BALA Portfolio, featuring a review of design trends and project photographs.