The Sun Valley Residence was built for a prominent patron and her extended family. The house lays in a rolling meadow of native grasses and wildflowers at the base of the Sawtooth Mountains, surrounded by an established residential neighborhood. The proximity of the surrounding dwellings and the power of the distant landscapes inspired the design to distinguish its surroundings, and mediate the conflicted context.
Against the extreme conditions of the high mountain valley, the 4500 s.f. house creates a quiet sanctuary and gathering place. Four sets of interlocking concrete walls step up the base of Penny Hill. The smooth, sitecast walls weave through the meadows, inverting the landscape with alternating rhythms of enclosure and exposure—disclosing spectacular views while containing private outdoor courts and gardens. The simple roof forms rise and fall between the walls, varying the volumes to create both intimate places of repose as well as generous rooms that open to the landscape.
Framed by openings, held in courts and slipping under the walls, the landscape is bound to the house. Both lens and filter, the house amplifies the intimate and immense, while excluding the middle ground of the surrounding neighborhood.