Wabi-Sabi House

House (Single Residence)


Square Feet
Lot Size
10 acres
Full Baths
Partial Baths


Living Home Construction & Design

From Sparano + Mooney Architecture

Wabi-sabi is an ancient tenet of Japanese aesthetic culture. It is a philosophy of beauty that embraces the imperfect, the incomplete and the transient. Wabi-sabi espouses simplicity and honesty in expression, those modest things in our world that express beauty as they weather and age. In conceiving this house and while walking the site, the work began to coalesce around an idea of textures, materials, and expressed joinery and connections.

Located in Emigration Canyon above Salt Lake City, Utah, this 5,000 square foot home celebrates a unique elevated canyon view with a direct connection to nature. Designed for a young family, this home is separated into two volumes that float above the landscape. The north volume is oriented along a direct east-to-west axis and includes the private domestic functions to address the quiet static mountain views to the north. The southwest volume includes the more public, active gathering spaces and is oriented along the canyon axis toward views to the city below.

Upon entry, the occupant is presented with a long corridor and framed view of the mountains to the west. As one progresses through the space, the shift in program is presented with the public volume in line directly with the canyon view. The proposal includes a basement level that incorporates a creative office space with a private outdoor patio. This home, designed to LEED specifications, includes a double wall system for maximum r-value and a vegetated roof, and is being constructed to include a roof-mounted solar PV array.