Mountain Modern vs. Mountain Traditional

The beauty of great design is that it is always appropriate

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With the creation of the term Mountain Modern, design teams have been given additional freedom to define the homes of the diverse mountain landscape. When we sit down and design a home, the client, site, and program define the home. 

But what defines the feel? Trending currently is Mountain Modern which, when done carefully, will age well in place. Alternatively, a Traditional Mountain home is also presented. To illustrate the difference, here’s a look at a couple of our recently completed projects.

Mountain Modern 

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The owner of this home was comfortable with and desired a modern home. Our approach to all homes is based on proportion, human scale, and the home’s relationship to the site. Initially, we had a very complex butterfly roof home that felt too busy. We pared it down until we settled on two simple but strong forms that anchor the home to the site. The roof forms also relate to the primary views and draw your eye to the exterior.

Kn 17 003 Sullivan Hr 1

With clean detailing and warm tones, this home will not only be a treat to the owners, it will age gracefully. The connection to the views, the use of a clean stone appearance, and the openness of the floor plan ties the home to its western site. Once one enters the home, there is no question as to where in the country they are.

Kn 17 003 Sullivan Hr 2

Mountain Traditional 

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Another owner saw a home that we completed in 2009. This home was a traditional mountain home that still lives and fits into the neighborhood. With this brief from the owner, we styled a home with a traditional bent but a layout that has minimal relation to its “cousin.” We have a grand fireplace wrapped in native stone, large timber elements, and a tie to the site, with an approach that layers on the western elements and materials.

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A visitor would know they are in the mountain west without having to look out the windows, but the phenomenal view reinforces it. The beauty of great design is that it is always appropriate. We encourage architectural exploration and revel at working out a design that is best on the site, for our clients, tying seamlessly into the setting.

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Andrew Brechbuhler is the principal architect and founder of Brechbuhler Architects, a Bozeman, Montana-based architecture firm specializing in high-end residential homes. Visit their website, or contact Andrew at 406.522.0369.

Content provided by Brechbuhler Architects.

Categories: Architects, Native Content