An Uplifting Family Retreat Boasts Breathtaking Views of the Tetons

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By Lucy Wang
Compact, contemporary, and site-sensitive, this elevated retreat takes cues from the Tetons’ geology and the textured willow scrub landscape.

Blessed by stunning mountain views and an alluring wilderness all around, it’s little wonder that the project brief for this 13-acre site in unincorporated Teton County evolved from an elevated camping platform to a custom home designed to properly capture the drama of the site.

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The dramatic peaks of the Grand Teton range loom large to the east of the property.

The dramatic peaks of the Grand Teton range loom large to the east of the property.

By the time the clients, an outdoorsy family of four from San Francisco, reached out to Sausalito and Los Angeles–based firm RO | ROCKETT DESIGN to fashion the quiet retreat, they had already completed a 90-foot square building pad on an elevated section of the property. 

The owners had worked with the US Army Corps of Engineers to minimize impact on the site, located in a listed wetlands area.

"Being a wetland, the site is covered in roughly 10' tall willow brush, and a small creek crosses the site lined with rugged Aspen trees," explain the architects.

"Being a wetland, the site is covered in roughly 10' tall willow brush, and a small creek crosses the site lined with rugged Aspen trees," explain the architects.

Consequently, the architects also aimed for a minimal building footprint. 

"We designed a compact, efficient layout and looked to build ‘up’ instead of ‘out.’ This helped us stay light on the ground and allowed the primary programs of the house to rise above the willow scrub to take in all the site has to offer," explains the firm of the 3,300-square-foot home that appears to float above the landscape. 

Rising out of the earth like a natural rock outcropping, the holiday retreat is clad in a combination of stained Western Red Cedar and stained Alaskan Yellow Cedar on the upper volume, while the lower is wrapped in stone veneer.

Rising out of the earth like a natural rock outcropping, the holiday retreat is clad in a combination of stained Western Red Cedar and stained Alaskan Yellow Cedar on the upper volume, while the lower is wrapped in stone veneer.

The exterior stone veneer around the base is built from Harris Stone and Hazelwood Ledge Stone.

The exterior stone veneer around the base is built from Harris Stone and Hazelwood Ledge Stone.

Spread out across two floors, the design of the three-bedroom, three-bath house was largely shaped by careful site studies and the region’s diverse ecosystem that spans a seasonally fluctuating wetland to a pond with a winding spring creek to the south.

Covered porches overlook prominent views, while deep roof overhangs provide protection against the region's unforgiving weather.

Covered porches overlook prominent views, while deep roof overhangs provide protection against the region's unforgiving weather.

"The Grand Tetons became visible to the east and the family could more easily observe the moose trekking through the property while perched above the vegetation," add the architects.

Floor-to-ceiling Lift/Slide doors by Weiland and clerestory glazing usher the outdoors in to the open-plan living and dining areas.

Floor-to-ceiling Lift/Slide doors by Weiland and clerestory glazing usher the outdoors in to the open-plan living and dining areas.

Shop the Look
Stephen Kenn Bowline Sofa
Stephen Kenn Bowline Sofa
Stephen found inspiration in the materials and culture of sailing. He then created The Bowline Collection in 2016. The upholstered pieces in this collection are covered in a stone washed sailcloth and soft canvas, with support from elasticized shock cord.
Rejuvenation Striped Dhurrie Flatweave Rug
Rejuvenation Striped Dhurrie Flatweave Rug
A classic striped design makes this dhurrie rug a simple addition to any room. Layer it over an existing area rug or use it as the main piece to ground your space. Made in India.
Foscarini Aplomb Pendant
Foscarini Aplomb Pendant
Aptly named, the Foscarini Aplomb Pendant ensures precise lighting, its concrete shade pulling the cable taut and lighting the room with a strong and handsome presence.
The covered porch wraps around the east and south sides of the home to overlook Teton views, as well as the pond and creek.

The covered porch wraps around the east and south sides of the home to overlook Teton views, as well as the pond and creek.

To take advantage of expansive views, the main living area and master suite are located on the upper floor of the top-heavy house. Full-height glazing and a covered porch wraps around the raised volume.

Floor Gres Architech porcelain floor tiles (in Ash Gray) line the entry and lower level corridor.

Floor Gres Architech porcelain floor tiles (in Ash Gray) line the entry and lower level corridor.

"The material palette of earthen rock and stained wood attempts to tie the architecture to the tones, materials, and textures of the region, all to help create an architecture that is derived from the site," the architects conclude.

The kitchen counters are Pietra Bedonia from Universal Stone (Idaho Falls). The custom cabinets have a white, matte lacquer finish.

The kitchen counters are Pietra Bedonia from Universal Stone (Idaho Falls). The custom cabinets have a white, matte lacquer finish.

The floors throughout the home are rift-cut American White Oak finished with Rubio Monocoat.

The floors throughout the home are rift-cut American White Oak finished with Rubio Monocoat.

A custom wood-veneer paneled wall surrounds the wood-burning fireplace.

A custom wood-veneer paneled wall surrounds the wood-burning fireplace.

The Teton Valley Residence ground floor plan.

The Teton Valley Residence ground floor plan.

The Teton Valley Residence upper-level floor plan.

The Teton Valley Residence upper-level floor plan.

The Teton Valley Residence concept site plan with identified views.

The Teton Valley Residence concept site plan with identified views.

The Teton Valley Residence site plan.

The Teton Valley Residence site plan.

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: RO | ROCKETT DESIGN / @rorockettdesign

Builder/General Contractor: Volcko Construction

Structural Engineer: KL&A

Landscape Design Company: Place Landscape Architects

Interior Design: Kendall Wilkinson Design