The homeowners found the dining room table while biking in Italy. “The dining room is the hub of the house and the table is usually covered with puzzles,” they say.[/caption] Tucked into a hillside — which allows for maximizing space through multiple floors — in the Summit View community, this home commands a spectacular view of Lone Mountain, a mecca for skiers. “The private and public spaces are all scaled to practical size, just what the clients need,” Bertelli says. “The scale of each ‘pod’ — garage, living room — is more human and more intimate. But at the same time, the various pods are connected into a larger whole with a sense of the exterior.
They found JLF, which works on a design-build model, after looking through magazines, making the rounds of local structures and through referrals. They were attracted to the firm’s use of old timber and reclaimed wood — a signature of its regionalist, vernacular style. “The region should affect the architecture in many ways,” Bertelli says. “Materials, weather, origins of the architecture — the less an architect responds to regionalism the more homogenous architecture becomes.” Bertelli visited with the clients in Nashville and then communicated via email during the building process. He and his team spent a lot of time finding out how the homeowners live and what their philosophy is, their future expectations, and their design ideas as well as their budget, before setting pen to paper. And that worked perfectly for the couple, who say, “This was the easiest house we ever built. The architect and builders were such professionals.”
“Everyone loves being in the same space together,” says the homeowner. But, says Bertelli, people also need to have “space for privacy and solitude.” The design is practical and simple, with an open kitchen/living/dining plan for family gatherings, private spaces upstairs and away from the central hub, and guest quarters down below.
The homeowners didn’t have a need for game rooms and libraries; it was more about having easy access to a spot for unloading ski equipment, removing wet clothes and getting into a warm room for a cup of tea. What the couple did emphasize was the importance of materials versus square footage. “We wanted the absolute best materials to give the home an authenticity,” they say. Case in point, the century-old unstained, weathered timbers. They had to be fit with a little more skill than wood that has been smoothed and planed.
“The construction yard [OSM] has to fit pieces together, and scribe one piece to another, tracing the surface end of one beam to another so the curves and cracks are perfectly matched,” Bertelli says. “It’s an intensive process, but the difference is remarkable.” After a decade of facing the elements, the home is still as welcoming as ever, fitting both its site and the homeowners’ lifestyle. “We love it,” they say. “Even though we don’t get to spend as much time out there as we’d like to, it’s a state of mind — knowing it’s out there if we want to go. It’s become our happy place.”
Square footage: 2,200
Architect: JLF & Associates, Inc., 406-587-8888; jlfarchitects.com