For the architects at Olson Kundig, buildings represent bridges between nature and people and their culture. A lot of their projects are focused on the idea that inspiring surroundings can have a positive effect on people’s lives. That’s how they designed this modern residence in Ketchum, US. The project was completed in 2015 and the house stands on a property measuring a total of 6500 square meters.
The clients and the architects agreed from the start that they wanted the building to have a strong relationship with its surroundings. As a result, the house emerges out of the landscape and becomes one with the landscape. The strategies employed to achieve this look are simple and clever. The overall design is based on strong contrasts although one of the project’s most important characteristics is the nice balance between the materials, colors, forms and everything else.
In order to connect the house to its surroundings and to allow it to become one with the desert mountain landscape around it, the architects chose to use corten steel for the facades. They designed the roof using corrugated weathered steel and they used stone and concrete for the foundation and walls in combination with steel and glass for the upper portion of the building.
While the East end of the house is buried, the West sections are cantilevered and offer unobstructed views of the nearby mountains and the vast and open landscape. This way an interesting relationship is established between the portions of the house which are concealed and private and the ones that are almost entirely exposed to the outdoors.
The interior spaces are organized into two main sections. They both have large windows that connect them to a central courtyard. The cantilevered portions feature patios under them, serving a double purpose. The two wings of the house are connected by a bridge made of steel and glass, a design that links it to the other sections of the house from an aesthetic point of view.
As far as the interior design goes, the residence has a strong industrial character but is also modern. It features a unique style which its owners describe as mountain industrial. One of the major goals of the project was to capture the authentic high desert mountain landscape and its rugged nature into the design of the house so it can naturally fit in. The industrial decor was the perfect match for such a project.