Thompson Lake House Nets Award of Citation from AIA Idaho

The Thompson Lake House, owned by the founders of Scentsy, Inc. and situated on a private lake in Eagle, ID, won a recent AIA Idaho Citation Award. Project manager Josh Hersel and designer Jason Yates (shown here) proudly display the framed award, now hanging above reception at CTA’s Boise office.

The project team also included: Jason Butler (principal-in-charge); Eric Nagel (CADD design); Tom Poremba, Kara Desaro, and Ryan Scanlin (structural); Ken Butler and Eric Stein (electrical); Tim Johnson and Jeremy Wilson (mechanical); Wes Baumgartner and Deb Rosa (landscape architecture); and contractors KM Engineering, Fitz & Murphey Interiors, and Mountain Waterworks.

Features of the home, and the work that went into designing and building it:


A private retreat of wood, glass, and concrete that glows like a jewel box on the lake. The owners envisioned a family oasis that could be restful and serene yet open and welcoming, and capable of entertaining large gatherings. They envisioned an environment that blended interior and exterior, seamlessly integrated into its stunning surroundings.


With only 40 days to design and submit for permit, construction and lead-times were expedited and material selection was limited. Exercising restraint to allow true materials to express elegant, simple, and unobstructed beauty was the predominant challenge.


This streamlined and elegant single-family residence features outdoor environments and a large living space that are perfect for entertaining. The envelope allows for dynamic customization: with user-friendly smart technology, the home can easily transition from an open beachfront hangout to a cozy, blacked-out theater. The interior and exterior are connected by operable glass hangar doors which frame vistas of the lake, landscaping, beach, and distant architecture. The house’s east/west orientation and south-facing 12 ft. overhangs mitigate excess sun exposure and solar heat gain while maintaining expansive views. Finally, the materials link the landscape and building while creating a calm and comfortable home. The lake house is open and welcoming, but also uniquely private — a blank canvas customizable to suit any occasion.

True Materials

The design focused on simplicity and the expression of true materials. Concrete was selected for shear, massing, and visual weight; glass for transparency and operability; and wood for warmth and screening. The streamlined aesthetic of the house was guided by the raw beauty of these base materials and features their innate qualities over anything else. The central motif of board-formed concrete, 10 ft.-tall pivot door, near-panoramic windows, and exposed steel beams are all inspired by the natural properties of their materials and will stand the test of time because of it.

Simply Dynamic

The home is designed to be flexible and customizable. The operable hangar doors can enclose the living space or expose it to become part of the outdoors. Discreet, smart-panel-operated roller shades can disappear into the ceiling to frame a symmetrical view of the world-class vista. All the while, fully-integrated systems function out of sight to maintain user comfort.

Integrated Execution

This project was a truly integrated effort between the design team, contractor, and owner. Multiple weekly onsite meetings, an unrelenting and rigorous eye for detail, ordering materials before the design was complete, and a constant focus on purity and simplicity guided the design and construction process. Tight communication and deep trust allowed the team to think outside the box and finish the home from day one of design to completion in less than a year.


“This project had its fair share of challenges, but the design team worked through and overcame each one, and the finished product is something of which we can all be proud. Much like the Scentsy campus, the Thompson Lake House is a rare oasis just minutes from multiple city centers. Experiencing the finished space and its quiet setting is truly a Zen-like experience! We’re excited and humbled to be recognized by AIA Idaho.”