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Publication Date: 2015-06-02

Inspiration

Georgia On His Mind

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 in his three-hundred-acre backyard.

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.

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


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.

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