Lakeside, MT

AIA Montana Merit Award (2014)

Skyhouse was designed as a family retreat to provide the clients privacy and solace as well as a place to entertain their friends. Surrounded by hills and trees, the site was selected in a remote area high above Flathead Lake, with an impressive panoramic view.

We studied various plan arrangements, but the style that suited them best was a simple “pod” layout, allowing each pod to essentially define itself and provide privacy to occupants and guests, while allowing impressive amounts of natural light into every single nook and cranny. Additionally, the pod arrangements allowed outward views of the landscape to be uniquely framed by other elements of the home, while also creating interesting internalized “captures” of nature in the crafted garden spaces between the pods themselves. The clients seized on this opportunity, commissioning an artist to craft outdoor sculptures in a few of these manicured outdoor areas.

Materially, the home is largely aluminum storefront glass to capture views and light, with a healthy dose of natural stone and reinforced wood veneer rain screen panels to ground the building to the rugged and rocky site. Other than occasional carpets and tiles, the floors are generally bamboo. The kitchen cabinetry was custom-designed and installed by a local artisan.

While certainly not understated in form, the project was designed to appear elusive and viewed only fleetingly at best from far below, then essentially vanish until the proper road is discovered, leading guests to the entry side of the home — where, by contrast, guests are greeted with a long, outstretched entry canopy designed to welcome them inside with warmth and hospitality.

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