Designer(s): Ward+Blake Architects, United States
Category: Architecture Categories, Professional
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The 35-acre lot of forest, sagebrush, and mesic upland
affords sweeping panoramas of valley and mountain views.
The site’s horizontality and low vegetation – a result of a
fire that wiped out all but the aspen trees – informs the
structure’s low-slung sod rooflines design. The house’s
upturned, butterfly rooflines maximize earth sheltered
northern views while deemphasizing verticality, creating a
“ground scraper” effect. The 15,000-square-foot
residence’s curving facade exploits the viewshed without
prioritizing any single feature of the surrounding wildlands.
The curving datum wall of the main house is echoed in the
7,000-square-foot guesthouse, creating a dynamic yin-yang
relationship between the two nearly interlocking crescent
shapes. Both structures rely on an honest and revealing
design vocabulary, with structural components such as a
steel moment frame in the living room left exposed to
communicate purpose and function.
Throughout, a palette of complementary materials –
limestone, West African Wenge, Brazilian rosewood, gold
leaf, and walnut – is applied with precision. In the indoor
swimming pool glass tile, custom-designed LED lighting and
skylights reflect a watery aesthetic. The pool opens to an
outdoor patio and adjoining lawn. With the building cluster
surrounded by private tennis courts, climbing wall,
basketball court, pond, caretaker’s residence and mountain
bike trail. Despite the overall grand aesthetic, the building
envelope consumes less than three acres of the site, in
keeping with the owner’s donation of more than 75% of the
land to a scenic easement trust.
About the Designer/Company
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 firm’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.