Huge Hilltop House: Picture-Perfect Luxury Forest Retreat


Part forest retreat high up in the trees and part picture-window to the world around it, this house in the Ozarks designed by Barton Phelps & Associates (pictures by Timothy Hursley) starts out nestled within surrounding trees but shoots out spectacular branches that widen as they project, opening up to amazing landscapes below.

The lower stories are intentionally anchored both physically and conceptually to the limestone bedrock below with concrete and stone – dark, cozy and private areas for people to retreat and relax on their own.

These smaller spaces are also more solidly sectioned off from one another, opening up to ever-widening passageways and community spaces that, in turn, culminate and terminate in a large open outdoor terrace and gigantic upper community living and dining rooms.

By contrast, the upper stories are made of lighter materials like wood and are extensively glazed – small to large to downright huge windows create various connections between interior and exterior rooms and environments. These are places for the guests and families come together in larger groups to experience the green trees and distant running waters visible far down in the valley below.

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