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GEORGIA ON HIS MIND

In certain fields of Georgia where cotton and jalapeño peppers once grew, there is now a different crop to be harvested: rocks of granite and quartz. In a region where farmers have tilled the soil since the 1820s, plowing the land once meant first digging up plenty of rocks and piling them in distant fields. When Atlanta-based architect Keith Summerour began designing his weekend home outside the tiny town of Gay, Georgia, he found most of what he needed to construct a seventy-foot-high tower residence in his three-hundred-acre backyard.

“We are blessed here with large mounds of rocks left by the former farmers who worked these fields,” says Summerour, who helped handpick the rocks that comprise his finished home. “The farmers salvaged them when preparing to plant and harvest, and now we’ve used them to build the structures, especially the main tower.”

In this otherwise featureless, though picturesque, landscape of Georgia, Pine Mountain rises in the distance some 1,300 feet. “I positioned the house on high ground so I’d have views of the Pine Mountain range,” says Summerour, “but there are also farm silos in the area, so the sight of my stone tower is not so startling.” Summerour also cites remnants of old regional “shot towers,” homegrown munitions factories where leadshot was made. The process involved pouring molten lead from towers into basins of water, the precise height being key to the spherical shape the bullets took. So Towerhouse Farm is both an anomaly and a familiar shape in the region.

 

 

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ARCHITECTURE BY KEITH SUMMEROUR OF SUMMEROUR AND ASSOCIATES
PRODUCED BY LESLIE NEWSOM RASCOE AND BETH WEBB
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIGUEL FLORES-VIANNA
WRITTEN BY DAVID MASELLO     

 

This story appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of MILIEU.

 

CALIFORNIA DREAMING

It took two years of searching the southern California coast before John and Patricia Shadden were finally able to say, “The moment we walked onto this property, it just spoke to us.” The couple is referring to what is now their home in Rolling Hills, California, a small, peaceful town that sprawls over the Palos Verdes peninsula, not unlike ripples that play on a gentle sea. This expanse of dimpled topography encompasses hills that reach 1,500 feet and provide long, dramatic views of the Pacific.

Recognizing the site’s potential, developers deeded the seaside land for residential use in 1936. Just one year later, enough families were living in Rolling Hills to call it a bona fide community. Behind a single gated entrance flanked by Canary Islands date palms, the nearly 2,000-acre, three-square-mile city of 684 ranch-style residences has no traffic lights, a cushion of space between houses, wide equestrian paths, and thoughtful guidelines for construction, landscape design, and stables.

The Shaddens were frequent vacationers to Hawaii and when they began their hunt for a second home in southern California, near their more permanent residence in Long Beach, they wanted a property that would remind them of the Hawaiian islands while being spacious and private. Residents of Long Beach for more than twenty-five years, the Shaddens’ main goal was to be closer to their children’s school. After purchasing the home in Rolling Hills, the couple began to assemble the team responsible for reconfiguring it to their family’s needs, looking first to interior designer Tim Clarke.

 

 

To read the complete story, or to see all photos, subscribe to MILIEU's print or digital editions, available by clicking here.

 

 INTERIOR DESIGN BY TIM CLARKE
PRODUCED BY LESLIE NEWSOM RASCOE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PETER VITALE
WRITTEN BY BARBARA S. TAPP

             
This story appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of MILIEU.

 

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