A Park City Dream Home on a Picturesque Parcel
A talented design team willing to push the envelope helps an adventurous couple realize their dream home
Months-long snowfalls, worker shortages and a pandemic caused significant delays to the custom abode Bret and Linda Laughlin commissioned on a hilltop parcel overlooking the Provo River and volcanic bluffs in Victory Ranch, a planned community near Deer Valley and Park City, Utah. However, the years-long slowdown had a silver lining—it gave them time to stretch their imaginations.
“We came up with something completely different than what we had originally planned,” Linda says, noting they would frequently pop over to the construction site on Friday nights and have a drink while they dreamed of the possibilities. “We call this the house that wine built.”
Designed by architect Cobus Van Den Berg to blend in with the magnificent setting, the house’s concrete, timber and steel exterior is juxtaposed with large expanses of glass and an angled roofline with a knife-like edge. “It allows the building to take flight toward the views and become bright, airy, fragile and transparent,” Van Den Berg says.
The area’s wide temperature swings required builder Ryan Marrott, RPM Builders LLC, and his team to develop unique techniques that are proprietary to the project, blending the steel tones with an acid patina and protective automotive-type sealer. “It’s going to evolve over time and not look the same five or 10 years from now,” Marrott says. “It will change colors, or ‘patina,’ with age.”
The refined yet industrial material palette also defines the interior, which Van Den Berg designed in close collaboration with interior designer Anne-Marie Barton. “Anne-Marie has the ability to move into a dream space, visualize something extremely innovative and appropriate, and then gently bring it all back to the project—-the final realization quite masterful,” Van Den Berg says.
In response to the couple’s debate about whether to include a TV in the living room, for example, they accented the floor-to-ceiling fireplace with a monumental operable steel “guillotine” to conceal it when not in use. Despite weighing about 14,000 pounds, it is easily raised by simply turning a wheel on a uniquely developed crankshaft and gearing mechanism.
The sculptural piece is counterbalanced by a massive steel hood in the open kitchen that Van Den Berg compares to a large foundry furnace. “It celebrates fire and the social side of cooking,” he explains, noting how its curvaceous form softens the home’s linear architecture. Over the quartzite-topped island, a floating steel-framed “cloud” creates a sense of intimacy despite the room’s lofty ceilings.
In response to the couple’s request for a more unique staircase than what had originally been planned, the team devised a serpentine stairway with solid walnut treads and a glass railing that allows natural light to flood the lower-level family room, symbolizing and celebrating the flow of the Provo River below the residence.
Barton worked closely with Linda Laughlin on the interior design, warming the concrete and steel with bleached black walnut flooring, plaster walls and reeded wood wall paneling. It’s a rich backdrop for stylish yet comfortable furnishings with rounded edges, many covered in nubby boucle, atop rugs made of mohair, wool, cashmere and hair-on-hide.
Wallcoverings likewise enhance the sense of coziness in the lower-level family room and in an intimate office space off the primary bedroom, where brass strips inlaid into the plaster walls create a sense of elegance without competing with the magnificent view of the area—a natural aviary that’s home to hawks, ospreys and eagles.
The Laughlins’ first night at the home after the completion of the approximately four-year project was awe-inspiring. Recalls Linda, “It was like waking up in a dream.”
Lighting is a crucial element in interior designer Anne-Marie Barton’s designs—a fact that’s reflected in the refined industrial dwelling she and architect Cobus Van Den Berg created for clients Bret and Linda Laughlin in Utah’s Victory Ranch. “We rely on illumination and the fixtures’ form to tell part of the story,” she says.
VARIATION Supplemented by integrated track lighting and modern monopoints, a pair of dome-like black pendants cast pools of light onto the quartzite countertops. Nearby, a pair of linear double pendants suspended at different angles illuminate the live-edge walnut dining tabletop. “That variation creates curiosity,” says Barton. “We’re looking for organic shapes and dimmable sultry lighting.” LIGHTING REVEALS Subtler but no less impactful, there are also lighting reveals in the cabinetry throughout and in the showers, where LED lights concealed behind a retreat in the ceiling floods the walls with a demure glow. “LED light should ooze into the space and not be incredibly obvious,” she says. That’s also true of the exterior, which radiates like a candle, softly illuminating without detracting from the velvety black night sky. “At all times, our design is intended to create a sense of tranquility and a relationship to the outdoors. We want to settle into the mountains and landscape instead of pushing ourselves into view,” says Van Den Berg.
GREAT ROOM SOFA by Andre Arbus from Nielsen-Metiér CHAIRS by Verellen OTTOMAN by Verellen RUG by Kalaty from Artifacts COFFEE TABLE by Brownstone Furniture RANGE HOOD by Innovation Iron FLOORING by Resawn Timber PAINT by The Paint Experts ART by Jill Barton Art MAIN BEDROOM BED by Verellen LOUNGE CHAIR by Coup D’etat PENDANT by Apparatus Studio KITCHEN BAR STOOL by Thomas Hayes Studio PENDANT by Allied Maker CABINETRY by Teerlink Cabinets CEILING by Innovation Iron COUNTERTOPS by European Marble and Granite POWDER BATH PENDANT by Apparatus Studio BASEMENT PENDANT by Apparatus Studio DINING ROOM CHAIR by Olivya Stone SECONDARY BEDROOM BED by Brownstone Furniture NIGHT STANDS by Brownstone Furniture