Olson Kundig drew inspiration for this design from the surrounding landscape of rugged mountains, high-altitude desert and big sky. To reflect Sun Valley’s mining heritage, the form of this residence seems to grow out of the earth. A careful orientation of the building offers the client as many view experiences as possible while still creating a sense of intimacy and privacy. The two wings of the cantilevered structure are made of steel and glass, sitting on a base of board-formed concrete. The wings are connected by an elevated walkway.
At every opportunity, the outdoors are embraced through expansive handcrafted steel windows and over-sized doors. It was critical to design and engineer the fenestration for structural deflection while still forming narrow sightlines and meeting thermal performance requirements. In order to maintain the uninterrupted language of glass and steel, the complex frame shapes of the clerestory windows had to fit seamlessly with the exposed structural I-beams. Corner conditions and gallery window wall connections were detailed to be as minimal as possible while maintaining consistent vertical sightlines. Holding crisp horizontal datum lines called for precise alignments of all components. Concealed reinforcements were utilized where structurally required and strict control of fabricating tolerances was a prerequisite.
The steel and glass bridge that joins the main house to the guest quarter wings is more than just a connecting corridor. A custom 23-foot-wide tilt-up window wall opens up the entire south-facing wall, transforming the bridge into an outdoor living space with uninterrupted views. The kinetic mechanism is operated by a hand-wheel crank and large steel counterweight located above the roof.