House on the Bluff is a single-family home with a breathtaking view of the Mississippi River and Arkansas delta. An 11-ft tall stone masonry wall leads from the street past an entry garden and pool. Inside, the wall grows to 40 ft in height and becomes the anchoring system for the house, serving both as structure and art.

The masonry wall, reinforced by 12-in. concrete masory units, is wrapped in natural stone extracted from the New Madrid Fault Line in St. Louis — the same fault line upon which the home sits. Care was taken to consider every connection to the wall, and openings were kept to a minimum.

Beyond the wall, an immense glass façade leads to an outdoor terrace and reveals the river below. Rock-faced concrete masonry units on the patio facing the river bluff give substance and texture to the home's base, and emphasize a contrast between the home's natural and man-made elements.

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Project Participants

Owner: Phil & Terry Woodard, Memphis, Tenn.

Masonry Contractor: Rick Mosely, Memphis, Tenn.

Architect: archimania, Memphis, Tenn.

General Contractor: Archer Custom Builders, Memphis, Tenn.

Structural Engineer: Poe Engineering, Walnut, Miss.