This residential project explores the relationship of mountain context and architecture, each contributing to one another with the architecture taking its cues from nature and the site. Located in a mountain setting with views of Hoyt Peak, Murdock Peak, and Iron Mountain, as well as the Utah Winter Olympic Park, the design approach to this mountain modern home sought to embed the architecture into its site; the residential program elements step up with the site topography from the public areas of the home, the entry and the great room, to the most private zone of the master suite.
The parti is organized around these three zones: public, private and refuge. The form is comprised of three levels of density: solid heavy enclosure walls (providing the thermal mass), lighter solid walls of plaster and wood, and the glass walls, a dematerialized surface. At key moments, the compositional balance of sky and mountain shifts and the home’s focus shifts from the sky to the horizon.
Exterior materials are both rough and refined: a highly textured board-formed concrete wall is capped with smooth wood panels and glazed surfaces above. These materials reference the textural scrub oak prevalent at the site under an expansive western sky. The vegetated rooftop incorporates native plant materials and will mirror the surrounding landscape each season: from the blanket of snow in winter to green foliage in the spring to muted brown and yellow tones of late summer.
The house celebrates Utah’s brilliant light and raw beauty as nature provided the architectural inspiration. The architecture was sited to maximize its passive solar orientation bringing light deep into the house in the winter and shading the living spaces through well-considered overhangs in the summer. Outdoor living spaces are integrated adjacent to the master suite and great room and a rooftop deck that overlooks a nearby golf course. The LEED Gold home incorporates renewable energy with a ground-source heat pump and high performance, energy efficient building systems.
The home was designed as a place of refuge for this family, offering a place to recharge, renew and to find inspiration in nature. In an area surrounded by oversized homes the team strove to produce the most elegant and articulate work possible in this beautiful setting, both revealing and concealing the house within the landscape.
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- Julie Chahine
- North Ridge Construction
- Scot Zimmerman, Sparano + Mooney Architecture