The ranch residence is simultaneously an amplifier and receiver of its site—which at the micro-scale is a hill crest and cliff’s edge adjacent to a stream 150 feet below; at a macro scale it is set in foothills adjacent to the jagged mountain peaks 10 miles away and at 50
miles away across the flat valley. 

The occupants are a family of 6 who spend long summer days roaming the surroundings and the longer winter nights observing the outside from inside. The entry to the house acts as the intersection between the public/parent program, found in the projecting volume and the children’s program that is nestled into the hillside, this hallway animated by the flickering light of water coming through the marine windows of the shared wall of the pool, which is at the high point on the hillside.

The design purposefully recedes into and projects from the hillside, mimicking the emerging rock face just below the building footprint. To reduce energy cost as well as embrace energy independence, the house is geothermally heated and cooled via a radiant floor system, the roofs are insulated with SIP panels over which are planted roofs and the windows are triple glazed. The house is covered in local sandstone as well as bonderized metal which over time will patina to further root the house into the surrounding earth. In contrast, the abundant faces of glass sparkle in the sun and reveal the buzz of inner domestic life.

Building type:Residence
Completion 2011
Big Timber, Montana 
5,200 square feet
Primary components:
 Steel Frame, geothermally conditioned space, Fleetwood window systems, SIP roof panels, locally sourced metamorphic sandstone, reclaimed wood floors, green roof native grass planted