FALL CREEK RESIDENCE
Teton County, Wyoming • 4,000 sq. ft.
Design Team: Chris Moulder AIA, Ben Weisbeck, Bryan Gleason, Andrew Dillion
Leading up to the property is a steep road, heavily forested with spruce and fir trees, barely navigable, especially during the harsh Wyoming winter. The site is surrounded by remarkable views of the valley as well as views of the Gros Ventre Mountain Range to the east and distant view to the north.
Ted and JoAnne Wong inherited the property from Ling Tung, the longtime head Maestro of the Grand Teton Music Festival. The rustic home was originally owned and built in the 70’s by a handyman. The building best represented his work as a hodgepodge of materials, shapes and a dozen elevations that together formed a log cabin on top of a hill. It was hobbit-like with low, cramped, ceilings. It was typical of the way homes of the valley were built back then, when people would carve living space into every nook and cranny to have more room to hide away for the winter season.
The Wong’s wanted to keep the house as a homage to their maestro uncle. The objective was to minimally add on to the existing structure as it appeared reasonably straight, in good shape, and code compliant. Design was created and implemented based on the program but unfortunately once demolition occurred the horrors of prior construction practices, water, and rodent infestation became evident. Over the years many furry woodland creatures inhabited the house and took over, their remains became obvious later during demolition. An existing failing unreinforced concrete block retaining wall was discovered in the basement only after the stud wall was removed. Later mold and mildew issues were discovered.
The house was set down and demolished, except for the octagon and a portion of a concrete slab in the basement. Design principal, Chris Moulder, designed a new house that used the existing logs and timber from the octagon room. The new octagon, now a media room, was raised three feet and the floor was lowered a foot. Drywall was used in that portion of the house to keep it current with the upgrade in the rest of the house. No longer dark and confining, the entire home, now a moutain modern retreat, boasts large-span windows that bring in natural light to brighten the interior and frame the picturesque mountain-top views.
Starting anew rather than renovating resolved any issues with plumbing and electrical, allowed us to straighten the walls, an important step in adding the two-car garage. Now the home is code-compliant, with a new concrete foundation and structural steel that can withstand high winds and snow loads. Starting fresh gave the design team and the owners the creative opportunity to create a home that has an open floor plan and many outdoor entertaining areas that take into consideration the owners’ lifestyle.