House: Teton Valley, Idaho
A House in Situ
Located on the eastern slope of the Big Hole Mountains facing the wide expanse of Idaho's Teton Valley and western face of the The Teton Mountain Range, the project explores the relationship between a house and its place in the environment. "In situ" means something is "of" its place, and built in-place with local materials. The house wants to be one with the land and of the land.
The program is a vacation house for a young family of four to be used throughout the year.
The Teton Valley offers dramatic views, a powerful and rugged landscape, hardy vegetation, and challenging weather. The design of the house takes cues from these elements.
The physical characterisitics of the site, including the slope and vegetation, guided most of the design decisions. These included the layout of exterior and interior circulation, material selection, solutions to localized water management, architectural expressive form, views and vantage point locations, and the position of the house on the site.
On approach, one follows the natural contours of the land up to the house. As one circulates through the house, views are revealed and hidden in specific locations and in varying degrees according to the function of the space.
Throughout the house, it is the eye that is drawn out into nature. However, the rear platform deck provides an opportunity to step out into the environment for a multi-sensory experience as it extends out onto the slope and into the landscape.