Forest Family Farm
A Forest Family Farm is a nexus of observations, inspirations and ideas that connect to the built and non-built environments in pleasing and logical ways. The complete profile of this structure is very different from ordinary residences, in that it is particularly suited for large, active, green, legacy minded families.
Forest Family Farms are alive with a mix of familial rhythms, activities and a social texture that pulls people together. When the outside is as attractive, people will naturally spend more time outside; this is a healthy metric from any perspective.
There is a palpable vitality in this Family Farm that invigorates visitors, and they mention it.
Good forest, community and environmental health are born from a well planned, living woodland that passively functions as:
- Wind break
- Natural perimeter fire break
- Water quality helper
- Community aggregation
- Wildlife enhancement and protection
- Gardens with pollinators and connections with the biosphere
When operational, Moondance will be a hive of activity. There is unlimited potential for almost any foray for the artistic and cerebral intellects. This forest-based enterprise provides an active, connected and enduring method of maintaining our superb wildness, allowing it to age without interference. This forest is interactive and navigable by day or night.
There is an odd duality in Moondance. On one hand you have cutting edge IT inside (Farraday Cage jncluded); however, once you get outside you are reminded of the 12,000 years that have passed. The biospheric vitality is tangible and strong.
Hunting for mushrooms, nuts, berries and other ground cover edibles while gathering from the gardens, is a deep-rooted pleasure, almost genetic. Edibles are everywhere in the operational forest primeval.
Human activities can renew faded energies caused by natural forest entropy. Game trails are traveled by all biological residents; gardens have a gleaner’s row for any hungry member of the biosphere. Mushroom beds are nurtured and native edibles are encouraged to proliferate. When dwellers are handy chantrelles can be given the time to grow large (we mean large – ask to see the pics) with mycological elegance.
Our ground covers are the permanent ground covers; we are not disturbing the diverse biological blanket under a canopy of Deep Sky Nights. Almost all of the Wild Sitecrafting will be done by hand using well-paid local labor forces and solar powered batteries for operating small trimming tools and chain saws.
There is no light pollution, no air pollution. Surrounded by forest and friends the Forest Family Farm has a connective sensibility while engaging primordial forces. Neighbors are doing the same things humans have done for millennia in the wooded lands - having an enthusiastic, productive, symbiotic joining with the environment and loving it.
Living in a forest has benefits that non-forest dwellers rarely consider. Access to primordial forces (sun, wind, rain and the forest) must be given in person. Safely.
Ambient light becomes an enormous design characteristic. Trees causing blockages must be dealt with by design, trimmed or removed.
Intentionally isolating a structure inside a dense woodland is not advisable. One of the basic precepts of Endurance Dwelling projects is the informal net of communication and interaction with the biosphere; if the dwelling is locked into an untrimmed tree ramble the whole point is lost.
It is a routine practice these days for physicians to prescribe forest walks instead of medications for stress and the trend is aggressive.
Japanese Forest Bathing is becoming quite popular. Northwest woodlands are not only fresh and breezy, a walk through reveals a visual, olfactory and sonic texture that can be found nowhere else.
Our Infinity Trail, when complete, will carry runners in the dark, on a rainy night, naked and barefoot, without fear.
Our patterns of ergonomic common sense grow as we interact with our clients and the forces involved. When we defend our forest from the force of fire, the side effects of manipulating the biosphere create a park-like setting where native species are dominant, keeping the biosphere content.
As Low Impact Developers we work for conditions of acceptance (in our agreement with forces from the non-built environment) to proceed with the project.
Our legacy structure, an Endurance Dwelling, is designed specifically as a Forest Family Farm. This type of structure has:
- Northwest design giving force, function and form obvious dominance
- ADA compliancy (inside and outside) with a long term Maintenance and Operations Manual
- Heated slab with walking roof
- Textbook location for passive and active solar array
- Footprinted in the perfect spot, on a flawless site
- Capable of long term efficiency, measured in centuries
Site forces give us logical forms that are dedicated to interacting with the function required - using this format we come up with shapes that are consistent with their job, but also have other interests. For instance, the mansard roof has a function of contributing to rain harvesting and keeping the exterior wall safe; it also creates an arcade that acts as a promenade around the entire structure.
Why so big?
The square footage seems like a lot when it is compared with other residential structures. Remembering that Moondance is a hybrid between residential and commercial models we see large size is not unusual in commercial buildings.
Usually a larger residential structure would be filled with erratic, impulsive design manifestations, no effective use of empty space (it has significant value because it IS empty) and stuffed with expensive junk – we do not do that.
Our project has a blanket of ergonomic, high grace minimalism that brings out intrinsic beauty using the grace and shape of the material, without the influence of meaningless artifice.
Farms in particular have more need for large, simple interiors that are easy to clean and do not have any useless, expensive and disconnected systems that make no sense.
A lot of carbon will be sequestered in the structure and the forest. In addition we are using laminated posts and beams for all heavy timber uses – a very green utility.
Buyers who have intentional legacy in mind will have room for family growth. They will have days and weekends where there will be many people many times during the year .There will be music and dancing for farm and family celebrations and harvests (hence the need for the recording studio and radio station).
Roof area size increases volume of harvestable water for SWRPY and SWRPWELL systems, and creates a very long southern exposure for passive and active solar commitments, supporting the roof as a garden.
Long rectangle has several exterior wall openings for active dwellers to migrate quickly from one to the other.
ADA compliancy has many attitudes:
- Wide hallways and comfortable traffic patterns
- Extends to grounds and gardens, not just inside
- There is room and strength for an elevator from slab to rooftop (optional)
Here are some informational resources and Salish Sea examples: