Teton Valley, Idaho • 7,000 sq. ft.
Design Team: Chris Moulder, AIA; Jennifer Bush, Wes Chappell, Nererida Ortiz
The Wendorffs are a family of six who have been visiting southeastern Idaho for decades. The clean, clear mountain air and pristine setting is a noted difference from the frantic, congested life they have in Southern California. The site they chose to build a home where they can hang their hats, reflect and recharge, overlooks the Teton Valley to the north, the Big Hole Mountains to the west, the Palisades Mountains to the south and the majestic Teton Range to the northeast.
When recreating in the Teton Valley and Jackson Hole areas, the Wendorff’s not only wanted to comfortably house their own family while on vacation, but also have the ability to entertain for extended periods, various family members and dear friends. Comfortable bedroom suites and a whimsical bunk room were incorporated into the extruded floor plan which maximizes function and emphasizes privacy. Having these bedrooms suites organized as it they were cabins built near the main house and connected over time adds to the experience of discovery in the house and once discovered, begins a journey towards equanimity.
On the exterior, heavy textures include randomly stacked stone veneers with deep raked joints to give the wall a dry-stacked stone look and heavily weathered recycled timbers. Thick recycled planks were used as siding and designed to give the main building deep shadow lines and are inspired by the miles of snow fencing used throughout the west along the highways and byways. The mix of materials and roof lines makes the home unique and interesting. This distinctiveness continues in the interior where the recycled timbers take center stage and create subdued, rustic, kid-friendly interiors. Carriage house lights hang over the kitchen island created from reclaimed barn wood with a butcher block counter. An antique lighting fixture is suspended from an old barn’s pulley system. Behind a sliding barn door the family room is a great place to work on a puzzle or read a book while enjoying the sound of rain on the metal roof. Upstairs additional bunks are tucked unobtrusively into the hallway so that the house can expand and give every visitor a comfortable place to sleep. A medical scrub sink is an unpredictable yet logical choice as the lavatory in the bunk room. The home is a pleasure to discover because around every corner is something unexpected, such as the nametags for the family’s hats in the mudroom or the drop leaf table that has become a vanity in the powder room.
The Wendorff’s home pays homage to the history and vernacular materials of the area. It blends with its spectacular surroundings. Because of its sharp juxtaposition from the Wendorff’s life in Southern California, it has become the perfect family retreat.