ily be missed by drivers meandering by on the
narrow street. Bloom’s use of natural materials such as tongue-and-groove western red
cedar and split-faced bluestone is one reason; another is its nontraditional design. “If
this house had a Cape-style peaked roof,” says
Bloom, “it would have added 10 feet to the
height. So the flat roofs keep the mass down.”
It also helps that much of the volume of the
house is built into the hill.
Both Bloom and Mellen-Smith are green
building advocates for reasons to do with both
energy conservation and good health. A geo-
thermal system with two 300-foot-deep wells
provides the heating, cooling, and hot water
for the house. Glazing is located to maximize
passive solar gain in winter, and deep roof
overhangs block the summer sun keeping inte-
rior spaces cool. That was tricky, says Bloom.
“The views were to the north, but the sun was
to the south.” And so were the neighbors.
“The hill allowed us to put the south-facing
windows high up, so we could take advantage
of solar energy without giving up privacy.”
It is just one of many ways that the house
becomes one with the landscape.