Teton County, Wyoming • 7,000 sq. ft.
Design Team: Chris Moulder AIA, Garrett Chadwick
Among the many natural attractions afforded to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, unparalleled views of the Rocky Mountains and an abundance of wildlife activity was in part what lured the owners to purchase this 3-acre site adjacent to the Snake River.
The Modesetts hired Dubbe-Moulder Architects to design their home with the goal of creating a private, retreat-like atmosphere for themselves, family and friends. Chris Moulder focused on carefully designing not just a house, but the entire site. Arranging a main house, a guest house, vehicular circulation, along with a variety of recirculating man-made ponds and streams which are designed in such a way that they maintain a healthy population of football sized Cutthroat trout throughout the entire year. These amenities complete the setting for the desired inspirational experience.
Texture is always important to DMA’s work. Materials that appear to have been in place for long periods of time have worked well in our designs and compliment the patterns established in the design vernacular of Jackson Hole. Oak timber weathers beautifully, long overhangs and covered porches cast dramatic shadows. Heavily raked stone veneers appear to have been stacked by some ancient civilization and even the careful suggestion of a more refined brick pattern work well toward a balanced composition.
The incorporation of different water features was important to the Modesetts. Water as a moving element creates a white noise, a natural music, which, with strategically placed windows on a comfortable day, can be piped throughout the house. Water also provides a sense of transition as with a bridge over a stream. This design feature allows the Modesetts to crossover from the public part of the house to their private cabin, which serves as a master suite, without ever going out of doors. While standing on the bridge looking out onto the stream, rising trout can be seen feeding on an afternoon hatch. This scenario is mesmerizing and peaceful, and hours can easily slip by. A wooden pier located just outside of the great room hovering out onto the main pond was designed to accommodate a perfect back cast without snapping your fly off due to hitting the house.
The floor plans were designed to instill a feeling of discover. No building, especially a residence, should be completely understood from the front door. Chris Moulder believes that “a house should be like a finely crafted novel, drawing the reader through the book page by page, giving just enough of the story out at a pace where the reader wants to see what will happen in the next chapter. Walking through a home should be no different.”
The Modesetts wanted a home where they could provide a great deal of entertaining, yet would also be private and comfortable when it was just the two of them. An organizational flow of open living, dining and a comfortable dine-in country kitchen looking out on to the pond were incorporated and appointed with comfortable materials and colors.
Interior surfaces were treated with everything from the rustic to the refined. The eclectic nature of the residence suggests that it was built over many years and through many generations. Therefore, particular attention to the consistency of the architecture from the outside to the inside was crucial. Smooth, white oak doors, window casings and flooring paired with refined cherry cabinetry, cut stone tile floors and painted plaster wall surfaces are juxtaposed against rough, weather beaten ancient white oak timbers from barn demolitions in the Midwest and recycled Douglas fir wind fencing from southern Wyoming. Structural lodgepole pine log columns supporting the second floor and roof structures also blend together into one unifying composition. As guests approach the front door to the home along a beautifully landscaped pathway, tall log columns flank the front door and welcome you into a view of the Grand Teton.
The design direction was a specific adaptation of the American Shingle style as originally perceived by such notable architects as Charles McKim, William Mead and Stanford White, Bernard Maybeck, Charles and Henry Greene, and H.H. Richardson. By way of connecting this project to its locale, infusion of design sensibilities from the great lodges of the Pacific Northwest also came into play.
The landscape plan was to allow the house to appear as if it has been set in place years ago. All of the new components on the site had to work around various stands of existing cottonwood trees. These trees, along with a strategic placement of aspen, Colorado blue spruce, arctic blue willows and wildflower beds, not only compliment the house structures and ponds, but bring a multitude of wildlife species to the property. Bald eagles perch in certain trees waiting for a cutthroat trout to rise in one of the ponds before swooping down and flying off with a quick lunch.