The house, designed with salvaged timber and indigenous stone that honours regional history and the natural world, must also withstand the Rocky Mountain West’s unforgiving winters, where temperatures can fall to -30 F and winds blow to 80mph.
For inspiration for this contemporary yet rustic house, sited on four acres protected by a 100 acre conservation parcel to the south and with long views to Sleeping Indian and Gros Ventre mountains, Paul Bertelli and Travis Growney of JLF Architects turned first, as they often do, to history, in this case to the clients’ beloved antique house back East with its many years of homely memories.
This is a reinterpreted New England antique in Wyoming, with cozy, warm and interesting spaces. The tonality and textures are an expression of the clients’ values. We kept the rooms and components to a modest scale and used stone to compress the spaces and keep them intimate. Then we used as much glass as possible to pull them apart and bring light into the building.
A two storey steel-framed window dissolves barriers between indoors and out even as contemporary technology paired with Old-World stone construction ensures comfort; the house also features a history-inspired stone “remnant” wall that divides and warms the space.
Working from an initial premise of two stone “remnant structures” connected by a glass-walled dining room, the house neatly divides public and private spaces. Wide-plank chestnut floors convey warmth, while the industrial-style windows allow light to flood the rooms even as snowflakes fall.
The great room boasts a two storey glass wall that helps dissolve any barrier to the patio, which is backed by a glade of pine and spruce and leads the eye to the site’s most prominent mountain view to the west. But the touchstone detail is undoubtedly the partial wall that defines the dining room, a seemingly crumbling remnant that lends history and patina to the project.
To further the house’s mission of sitting easily on the land, the homeowners requested it be built to achieve LEED certification. So green-build efforts were carefully integrated into construction, including recycling building materials, using locally sourced products and managing water use, heat loss and energy consumption. Reclaimed materials came from within 500 miles, including Montana sourcing for the master wing log stack and all of the stone, and exterior siding from Idaho. The team installed low-flow toilets, showers and faucets and Energy Star appliances, and separated and recycled steel, sheetrock and wood.