marc thorpe curates a picturesque dreamscape with his house of four gardens

Mar 23, 2021

in the deep south of the united states, marc thorpe designs (MTD) conceptualizes the ‘house of four gardens.’ the dwelling, characterized by its monumental assemblage of concrete vaults, is nestled between the live oaks and perennial ferns indigenous to the region of the savannah river. taking influence from english philosopher david e. cooper in his work, a philosophy of gardens, architect marc thorpe envisions the space as an expression of humanity’s moral imperative to define meaning in life. cooper poses that the relationship between man and garden is symbolic of the virtues of character one must strive towards in life, exemplified through the communal interaction one has with nature.

marc thorpe organizes his house of four gardens along an harmonious grid of thirty 12’ x 12’ concrete double barrel vaults, centered around an inner courtyard. a composition of four gardens introduce a physical and visual connection with nature throughout the conditioned interior. the character of the home is presented in these spaces, acting as a bridge between the dwelling and the surrounding environment. the gardens bring life to the house through their dynamic light and shadows, challenging the privacy of the building. the project is programmed with a collection of living, dining, cooking, and sleeping areas — each space defined by the geometry of the corridor in plan. each space of the house maintains direct access to the natural surroundings. introducing nature into the home provides a sensitivity to the place, embracing its spirit.

marc thorpe designs develops his house of four gardens as a place for the occupant to cultivate a sense of awareness. the designer seeks to encapsulate ‘cultivation, mediation, community, and sanctuary,’ which he defines as the four modalities of personal growth and character. the seemingly untouched nature of the garden serves to resolve one’s relationship with the meaning of their life. marc thorpe comments: ‘the house of four gardens is a seminal work for the studio. the work embodies the cultivated awareness one earns through the trials of life. the house represents one’s resilience in the face of adversity and a respect for ourselves in harmony with nature. the house is truth as art, an expression of the human spirit in splendor and imperfection.’

floor plan


project info:

project title: house of four gardens

architecture: marc thorpe design

location: savannah river region, united states

status: concept

visualizations: truetopia