This residence is sited in a natural clearing in a huge grove of aspen trees on a low lying lot situated between the Teton Range and the Snake River in northwestern Wyoming. As the site is dominated by jurisdictional wetlands; natural water courses and man-made water features figure prominently in the site design. The house is based on a north-south, east-west orientation to capture views and provide favorable southern exposure. A building structure of regularly spaced bays, defined by custom fabricated wood and steel columns and trusses, aligns with this orientation. The material palette attempts to reconcile the tension created between modern architectural form with traditional reclaimed exterior siding and weathered cor-ten corrugated roofing. The interior materials place a refined palette of laminated bamboo, polished concrete and Russian Birch millwork to a natural setting. The garage/family room and upstairs apartments are housed in a traditional barn structure and connect to the primary residence via an enclosed “floating” breezeway. Traditional dovetailed logs are finished with cast glass “chinking” to allow diffused light into the space by day and to provide a lantern effect by night. Energy conservation was a design mandate from the inception of this project, set by the Owner. Care was utilized to specify components that exceeded industry standards for wall and ceiling insulation, infiltration and glass performance as well as HVAC design. Heating and cooling is handled by a ground-source heat pump utilizing ground water at 45 degrees Fahrenheit year round in an open-loop system. Interior finishes were selected for their low VOC content, with all casework being finished in an organic vegetable-based oil material. Renewable bamboo is utilized throughout the house as well as a ceiling material. Electrical consumption was reduced by specifying LED technology in all of the public spaces and high-output halogen light elsewhere.
Ward + Blake Architects was built on a distinctive vision: be provocative in thought, flexible in nature, and disciplined in execution. Since 1996, Ward + Blake have been creating spaces that reference the land and the history of the region while also embracing cutting-edge construction materials and techniques. We have created a working environment where the powers of innovation, smart building and creativity flourish. Our firm is composed of twelve trained professional people including four Licensed Architects, six Intern Architects, an Interior Designer and an Office Manager. Ward+Blake Architects is organized horizontally rather than vertically, which is to say that we realize our design work utilizing the strengths of our staff members at all phases of the project. This horizontal stratification allows the principals to be involved from schematic design through construction documents, ensuring that design goals remain in focus and project objectives are obtained. Ward + Blake believes that architecture should respond to its particular place and be a natural partner with the environment. The firmâ€™s designs evolve from an appreciation for pragmatic solutions within the honesty of modernism. By working within the context of our rich environment and applying sustainable strategies to a wide variety of building types and project scopes, Ward + Blake designs architecture that conserves energy and natural resources while creating high performance buildings and healthy environments for the buildings occupants. We listen carefully to the desires, goals and program of our clients. Ward + Blake has an excellent track record averaging less than 1% change orders on our commercial and educational projects.