T-shaped House In The Middle Of The Mountainous Landscape

When architecture studio Olson Kundig started working on this project they had two major things in mind: art and nature. They had to build this house on a cul-de-sac in Ketchum, Idaho. The plot is framed by the Bald Mountain on one side and the Dollar Mountain on the other which means it gets to enjoy panoramic and very beautiful views of the forested landscape and everything else.

The forested landscape frames the house and creates a natural outline around itView in gallery
The forested landscape frames the house and creates a natural outline around it

The interior of the house is decorated with lots of contemporary pieces from the owner’s collection. That’s how this combination of focal points came to be. Now let’s talk about the house itself a bit more. It’s clad in steel and wood and has large glazed surfaces which help it establish a dialogue with the exterior.

The house stands tall and blend with the topography without necessarily mimicking itView in gallery
The house stands tall and blend with the topography without necessarily mimicking it
The T-shaped floor plan forms a series of glazed living spaces which take advantage of the locationView in gallery
The T-shaped floor plan forms a series of glazed living spaces which take advantage of the location
The fireplace from the master suite is framed by windows and panoramic views of the mountainsView in gallery
The fireplace from the master suite is framed by windows and panoramic views of the mountains
The main materials used throughout this project are steel, concrete and woodView in gallery
The main materials used throughout this project are steel, concrete and wood

The house has a T-shaped floor plan and is structured into two large volumes. The primary zone is composed of an entry foyer, an open plan kitchen, dining room and living area as well as two guest rooms situated below and two office spaces on the upper level. By comparison, the secondary volume is smaller and houses a vestibule and the master suite.

Contemporary art pieces are displayed on almost every wall in the houseView in gallery
Contemporary art pieces are displayed on almost every wall in the house
The kitchen has black cabinetry and a matching island, contrasting with the white walls that surround itView in gallery
The kitchen has black cabinetry and a matching island, contrasting with the white walls that surround it

Aesthetically these areas are similar and complement each other in a seamless and natural manner. Of course, each individual space has its own unique features that make it stand out. For example, the black kitchen cabinets add a sophisticated touch to the entire social area. The private area has its own focal points, one being the freestanding tub placed in a glazed nook that offers expansive views of the entire surrounding area and the mountains in the distance.

The double-height entry vestibule has a gallery next to the staircase that leads upstairsView in gallery
The double-height entry vestibule has a gallery next to the staircase that leads upstairs
The primary volume is structured on three floors, each with a different purposeView in gallery
The primary volume is structured on three floors, each with a different purpose
The freestanding tub was placed in a specially-designed glazed nook with gorgeous viewsView in gallery
The freestanding tub was placed in a specially-designed glazed nook with gorgeous views
The tall trees that surround the house were preserved and are part of the site's charmView in gallery
The tall trees that surround the house were preserved and are part of the site’s charm
In winter the distant views become more prominent and seamlessly blend with the immediate surroundingsView in gallery
In winter the distant views become more prominent and seamlessly blend with the immediate surroundings
Large windows and glass doors bring in the beautiful colors of the surrounding landscapeView in gallery
Large windows and glass doors bring in the beautiful colors of the surrounding landscape
The house's walls are decorated with the owner's extensive collection of contemporary art piecesView in gallery
The house’s walls are decorated with the owner’s extensive collection of contemporary art pieces
The office spaces are situated on the uppermost level inside the primary volumeView in gallery
The office spaces are situated on the uppermost level inside the primary volume