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General Contractor- Walsworth Construction. Completed 2007

A residence for a young family situated on a compact lot in the middle of a central Idaho resort community. The existing neighborhood had been built- out with existing residences and mature landscaping surrounding the site.

A desire of the owner to have a building designed to embrace the romance and quality woodworking associated with the Craftsman Style, coupled with a tight budget, limited site, and ambitious list of building program requirements provided the architect with a formidable challenge.

Further challenges came from the site being located within as existing floodplain and local building height and setback limitations.

A conscious effort was made to preserve the existing site drainage patterns and reinforce the existing riparian vegetation with additional native plantings creating a native streambed vernacular at the east side of the site. The building was designed as a C shaped plan creating a central outdoor courtyard with fireplace and hot tub opening onto the streambed and sheltered for privacy from the street by the building form.

The ability to realize spectacular, extended mountain views within this tightly spaced and overgrown neighborhood was accomplished by creating an upside down floor plan with the living/dining/kitchen spaces placed over bedroom and storage areas.

The lower level houses two bedrooms, a bunkroom, two baths, two mechanical spaces, central corridor with storage, laundry room, storage/workshop, garage and a recreation room (designed to convert to a second car garage in the future).

The highlight of this level is the central main stairwell designed to be a functional piece of contemporary Craftsman furniture expressing both the natural beauty of its materials and the craft of the woodworker who built it. The use of repetitive standard dimensional wood elements in a creative and efficient way advocates the notion that this type of time-honored building tradition can still be achieved on a limited budget.

At the top of the stair is the dramatic and open great room space with vaulted ceilings created from energy efficient structural insulated panels veneered with natural American cherry wood supported by large glu-laminated wood trusses designed to carry the enormous snow loads encountered in this area. The juxtaposed simple roof forms were carefully positioned to easily shed snow from the raw galvanized metal roofs without hazard to the human occupants.

The upper level of the building has been notched out at three strategic corner locations creating decks to capitalize on views and provide outdoor living areas for use at various times of the day.

The exterior of the building has been designed with materials which reflect the traditional craftsman style, but with a decidedly contemporary approach. The concept is to carry forward the fundamental ideals of the craftsman movement with current building materials and efficient techniques. Panalized natural cedar shingle siding, aluminum clad wood windows, natural stone, galvanized guardrails and corrugated roofing were all combined to create a traditional look with efficiencies of cost, maintenance, and energy consumption.

A strategically placed central natural stone fireplace chimney provides three fireplaces, (one for the master bedroom, one for the courtyard terrace, and one for the upper livingroom), as well as a central flu for required mechanical equipment.

Abundant natural light is evident in all rooms of both levels to help increase the perceived space and provide a direct connection to this beautiful natural environment.

The combination of careful planning and creative use of contemporary building components created a small home which is big on style, reasonably priced, and spacious beyond its footprint.

2015 Mark Pynn Architect