Gaines Group Architects

14. Magney House #105architecturalinspiration


In graduate school at The University of Tennessee I started putting the pieces together for my approach to sustainable design. My goal was to find aesthetically pleasing design solutions to common building problems. In this case, water. While searching for rainwater harvesting solutions, I found the Magney House designed by Glenn Murcutt. It was elegant, effective, and done with common materials, a perfect combination.



This home takes on a form that celebrates the movement of water and highlights the importance of it to survival. In a climate where rainstorms are rare, creating a roof that maximizes the collection of water while providing a beautiful form is critical to architectural success. Glenn Murcutt’s ability to shape function into form is exactly the type of solution I was looking for to incorporate into my design strategies.



The downspout and the “bowl” used for collecting water along with the gently curving roof shape tells a story. The form of the roof reminds me of a wave of water cascading down into the collection trough. The beauty for me is the simplicity of the materials and form. The idea of letting the solution be so pure is rare in architecture, but very appealing to me. To say this home inspired me seems somehow inadequate.

#105architecturalinspirations is a collection of architectural details, buildings, and spaces that inspire me. I am taking on the challenge of finding two projects to spotlight each week in 2015. Hopefully I will be able to keep up and this process of discovery will push me to create better design solutions for my clients as I research and learn more about those projects I enjoy most. I challenge you to add your comments below about this project and to post your own inspirations for all to enjoy. 

Full List of previous #105architecturalinspiration posts

1. Jefferson’s Academical Village

2. Charleston, South Carolina

3. Solar Decathlon

4. National Museum of the American Indian

5. Lighthouses

6. Hatch Show Prints

7. The Aqua Tower in Chicago

8. Chicago Theatre Marquee

9. Samuel Mockbee

10. Richard Meier

11. Notre Dame du Haut

12. Philip Merrill Environmental Center

13. Church of the Light