Teton County, Wyoming • 6,831 sq. ft.
Design Team: Chris Moulder, AIA; Nery Ortiz, Chad Downs, Jennifer Bush, Luke Walker
Site geometry is always a consideration for any project. Although the site is approximately 10 acres, the building envelope was a challenge due to the fact that the site is not wide, has a shared driveway easement with a neighbor, a road easement and two water courses on the property.
The existing house was placed on the property 20+ years ago between the natural river channel of Flat Creek to the west and an irrigation ditch to the east. Prior to DMA’s involvement, the current owner had decided to widen the irrigation ditch into a pond and supplement it with water from a well.
Although there are significant mountain views to the north, the neighboring house stands in the way. Views to the distant mountain range known locally as the Mosquito Creek drainage across to vast open ranch lands allow for the property to experience amazing sunsets, spectacular fall colors, and views of weather fronts moving in from the west. To the east, Adam’s Canyon range offers beautiful views of fall colors and late afternoon alpenglow.
The existing log structure originally erected sometime in the 1980s was that of a “kit“ home. In other words the house was manufactured somewhere else with logs turned on to lathe to a specific dimension, and fitted with a “Swedish Cope“ to allow the logs to sit tight and theoretically need no chinking. Unfortunately, overtime the logs shrunk enough to allow wind and insects to infiltrate the home.
The new owner, being an art dealer, had an extensive collection of American art both in painted and sculpted media. The existing floor plan was set up more along the lines of a modest year-round home for a family, with small bedrooms, and a combined living, dining and kitchen area. The ability to display larger art pieces and Native American artifacts, namely two totem poles, was not possible with such mall rooms and ceilings. Chris Moulder and the staff of DMA created a great room to the east of the existing living/dining space that would also serve as a rustic gallery with a two-story space and balconies, thereby creating wall surfaces and smaller, more intimate species within the larger room. A new master suite was also created over the expanded garage which, by virtue of its placement on the second floor, offered commanding views of the landscape.
Since the existing structure was of a log construction, it was determined early on in the programming of the project to make the addition of a log structure as well, only this time incorporate a more natural, hand-hewn log, full of all the perfect imperfections that nature adorned it with. Knots, uneven shapes and surfaces, tapered dimensions in its length were all carefully considered and artfully fitted together to create a wonderful texture that is complimented with rough, stacked stone veneers, log columns, new posts and railings, rough-sawn fir floor and wrought iron accessories. This all became the perfect backdrop to original Remington artwork, Native American textiles and artifacts as well as original Molesworth furniture.
Once the addition was identified and stitched to the existing structure, covered porches, patios and decks were incorporated to the design to further accentuate the indoor/outdoor connection with structure and landscape. The idea of enticing people outdoors to experience the natural setting this property has to offer was important. The owner hosts many functions in the summer months where they encourage their guests to wander around the property and experience of various water features, gardens and rising trout. By designing various nodes around the property such as stone patios, a hot tub area, covered porches and an outdoor fire pit next to the pond, many opportunities exist to have a variety of experiences.