A Ski-Bum-Casual Yet Sophisticated Wyoming Retreat
Photos by David Agnello
Architect Trevor Abramson’s clients had straightforward requests for their Wyoming retreat: they wanted a low-maintenance, one-level home that took full advantage of the breathtaking Teton vistas, seamlessly blended with the surrounding landscape, and exuded an effortless “ski-bum-casual yet sophisticated” style.
Along with fellow Abramson Teiger architect David Pascu, Abramson devised an ingenious elevated design for the 6,500-square-foot, four-bedroom home. Situated on a slab supported by concrete columns, the structure appears to float above its gently sloping lot. “This design minimized the alteration we had to do to the site and helps the home blend in with its surroundings,” Pascu explains. In fact, the only part of the home that carves into the naturally sloping lot is the garage, which was camouflaged with a green living roof to harmonize with the meadow.
With the support of a concrete pad set on pillars, the guest wing and gallery of the home appear to float atop the meadow.
To honor the owners’ request for a low-maintenance structure, the designers covered the exterior of the home with materials that will gracefully weather over time. COR-TEN steel panels hung on a rainscreen wall will eventually take on a rusty brown patina, and the zinc roof will turn dark gray as it ages. “The walls and the roof have a living, natural finish that will need little or no maintenance,” Pascu says.
Inside, poured-in-place concrete walls echo the radiant-heated polished concrete floors used throughout the home. To soften the industrial materials, “we added tongue-and-groove Douglas fir to the ceiling and accent walls washed and stained with a warm gray hue,” Pascu explains.
With floor-to-ceiling aluminum-clad windows and sliders that open onto a spacious deck, the great room offers 180-degree views of the Tetons. “The owners stressed that they didn’t want to include a television in the great room,” Abramson says. “They didn’t want anything to distract from the view.” Even the room’s low-profile, blackened-steel fireplace and low-back, streamlined couches and chairs were chosen to give full sight of the mountain vistas.
According to the homeowners, the completed house achieves perfect balance: “It’s simple but not easy, bold but not cold, clever but not tricky—and overall, a joy to be in.”
Natural and low-maintenance materials were used throughout the home, such as concrete walls (poured in place), polished concrete floors and Douglas fir ceilings.
The open-plan great room takes full advantage of the Grand Teton view with floor-to- ceiling windows, a low-profile fireplace and an adjacent wraparound deck.
The kitchen features an island with applewood cabinets and a manmade quartz slab top. Chrome and woven chairs, glass pendant lamps and a stainless-steel range hood contribute to the kitchen’s modern aesthetic.
Low windows flood the gallery with light while protecting artwork from direct sunlight.
The home is strategically sited on the sloping 12-acre lot.
Pitched roofs mimic the site’s gradient and help the home blend into the landscape.
Wyoming temperatures range from -20 to 100 degrees, making eco-friendly design not only green, but cost effective. Here, architect David Pascu’s must-haves for tricky climates:
- Water: Hydronic in-floor radiant heating throughout the home is eco-friendly and economical.
- Earth: A geothermal system absorbs heat from the earth to both heat and cool the home.
- Sun: Overhanging eaves accommodate the changing angles of the sun’s rays throughout the year. In the winter, they capture and retain sunlight to help heat the home, while in warmer months, they block the sun to keep the interior cool.
- Air: Wood-framed, aluminum-clad windows trap heat with triple-insulated glazing: three layers of glass panels and two layers of air.