Wilson, Wyoming • 3,500 sq. ft.
Design Team: Chris Moulder, AIA; Eric Helgoth
Our clients’ original home was located on a busy road with constant traffic noise and although buffered with dense landscaping and heavy stone walls on the street side, the vehicular rumble was still distracting. The clients contacted Dubbe Moulder Architects to see if it would be possible to move the extruded, single story, stylized ranch design to another property in the valley. After much thought and council from Chris Moulder the owners determined that although they could indeed move the building, placing a house designed for one site onto a different site would not fully realize what the new property had to offer. Moulder then took the original idea and modified the plan specifically to the owners’ requests, creating a comfortable home from which the owners have said they will never move.
Interestingly, the new lot had not just one but two roads bordering it. On the corner of two streets in a small subdivision just outside of Wilson, Wyoming, the task of providing privacy and traffic noise abatement became crucial. Fortunately, the traffic noise was lessened by the fact that the streets were low speed access roads to other homes in the subdivision with no outlets to other thoroughfares. Site planning that included careful placement of earth berms and landscape vegetation gave the clients the peace they were looking for.
The site, although flat, was not without consideration. There were houses to the west, to the south and a distant neighbor to the north, views to significant mountain ranges were important to maintain while it was also important to block out views to neighboring homes. A high leaf canopy vegetation was incorporated for areas of shaded outdoor living. Various spruce trees were specifically placed in areas to provide a year round visual buffer to the neighbors. The result is a peaceful oasis with an overall sense of balance.
It was apparent that due to the 19 feet height restriction placed on the property by the developer, the house would have to be a single story structure with a low profile. Although the design guidelines, like many other statutes for other subdivisions in the area, used design parameters such as “low and rambling” and “western ranch in nature”, DMA took those somewhat nebulous descriptions, researched vernacular ranches of the area and re-created the components, while implementing a more contemporary twist. Deep porches were determined due to winter and summer sun angles and were designed to complement every bedroom suite. Rough, indigenous materials such as dry stacked field stone, timber posts and beams, and re-sawn and rough sawn siding and trim are all hint of resources pulled from the land. Large windows frame picturesque views of the Teton range to the north, Sleeping Indian to the east and the Wilson Faces to the west.
As with all successful architecture, the careful melding of the outside to the inside is crucial. Heavily textured stone and wood treatments utilized on the outside of the structure were carefully brought into the home. Those rough materials were balanced with lightly textured walls which provide opportunity for the owners to display their collection of artwork. The client’s wonderful sense of furnishings completed the gracious home.