Teton County, Wyoming • 4,000 sq. ft.
Design Team: Chris Moulder AIA, Bryan Tarantola, Eric Helgoth
Sitting at roughly 8,000 feet above sea level and nearly 800 feet above the valley floor, this site offers commanding views of not only the Teton Mountain range to the north but also vistas of the whole Snake River Valley. This natural beauty is however offset by high snow loads, high wind velocities, unstable soils and earthquakes. In collaboration with the owners, Chris Moulder designed a residence with functional spaces. The goal of the exterior and interior was to create a true western lodge with prominent outdoor living spaces that could be used for entertaining and relaxing with family and friends.
Positioned on a very steep incline, the unique site offered Moulder an “opportunity to design a home not limited by its location, but enhanced because of it”. The structure was built into the steep side of the hill so it virtually hugs it. Designing the house in accordance with the steep lot puts the living spaces high above the ground for best viewing opportunities. As a result, each of the three floors has grade level access to an exterior living space and wide views on the surrounding mountains.
Moulder created the feeling of a western lodge on the exterior by utilizing a variety of regional materials: a stone facade framing reclaimed barnwood garage doors anchors the base of the home; twenty foot windows, rounded and shaved exposed logs, hand-split cedar shingles and dry-stacked Montana stone give the home character; exterior patios, terraces and decks work with the regional materials to create comfortable outdoor living spaces. The overall feel is further enhanced by a natural stone staircase, which gently climbs the grade to the second-level, main entrance of the home.
When a visitor enters the home, they are met with a spacious great room that glows a warm gold due to the log rafters, rich hickory floor, plentiful windows and a massive stone fireplace. The room is designed to be a social hub in the home that is open to the kitchen. Moulder created defined spaces using vertical lodgepole pine beams, which encase the great room and separate the kitchen and dining areas. For consistency in tying the outdoor and indoor living areas, the beams are replicated in smaller versions on the second and third floor deck railings. The continuation of log, stone and wood siding on the inside of the house were complimented by rough sawn lodgepole pine flooring, knotty alder doors, millwork and cabinetry as well as a painted skip trowel plaster finish to the wallboard surfaces.
Since the kitchen is the owner’s favorite room and frequently used for large and small dinner parties, Moulder designed a functional space that accommodated their needs: an oversize granite island with a built in grill gives the chef adequate space for preparing meals while simultaneously visiting with guests; custom alder cabinets reach the ceiling and wrap the perimeter of the kitchen providing plenty of storage and creating a warm, cozy space; the kitchen opens to the dining room, which ensures guests can gather at the granite bar and the dining room table to visit.
The outdoor living spaces on the main level include a sod roof over the garage which reaches to a large deck wrapping the kitchen, dining and great room. It is the perfect venue for outdoor dinner parties or a quiet visit.
The purpose of the home was to allow its inhabitants to experience the natural surroundings and beauty the property has to offer. The natural topography creates many outdoor spaces which have been sprinkled around the site. Covered screened porches were located off of the kitchen and master bedroom areas, soaring decks and balconies give one the experience of an elevated perspective within the trees. Flat manicured lawns are located directly above the three-car garage in the form of a sod roof on the main level, while another small yard is placed next to the loft office on the third level. The majority of the site was reclaimed with natural grasses and indigenous wildflowers, trees and shrubs.
The Aros’s finished the home with an exquisite collection of furnishings and fabric that allow new to sit with old and smooth to coexist with rough in a comfortable way.