Set in the remote Methow Valley, Studhorse responds to the clients’ desire to experience and interact with the surrounding environment throughout all four seasons. Riffing on the tradition of circling wagons, the buildings – four small, unattached structures – are scattered around a central courtyard and pool.
Studhorse exemplifies the architect’s belief that his job is to create an experience of place. Traditional boundaries between the built structure and its surroundings are purposefully blurred, forcing the clients to experience the site and nature. With the four buildings positioned to spill open to the central courtyard, the design is oriented toward family life and entertaining.
Tough building materials, mostly steel and glass, were utilized to stand up to the equally tough environmental conditions – from hot, fire-prone summers to winters with heavy snow pack. The wood siding was salvaged from an old barn in nearby Spokane, WA. Over time as the wood and steel weather, the home will become more and more muted in appearance, further blending into the landscape.
“In this location, a house that’s all about adventure is one that forces you to be outside and engage actively with the seasons. You have to go outside to get inside. So the house has what some might call inconveniences, but the clients and I see them as terrific, unforgettable moments.” –Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA, Design Principal
Project Team: Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA, Design Principal; Mark Olthoff, AIA, LEED® AP, Project Manager; Gus Lynch, LEED® AP, Project Staff; Debbie Kennedy, LEEP® AP ID+C, Interior Design
Key Consultants: Schuchart/Dow Construction, General Contractor; MCE Structural Consultants, Structural Engineer; Argent Fabrication, Architectural Steel; Westlake Concrete, Concrete; Alpine Welding, Structural Steel
Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider