The Boulder Retreat’s program called for a modest but expandable residential program to be interpreted in an architectural language that is abstract rather than literal in referencing the ubiquitous “western log cabin.”
The site’s limited buildable area and the clients’ desire for minimal impact on the landscape required a small footprint for the 4,800-square-foot building. This constraint, together with specifications of the owners’ program, pushed the living areas of the house onto an upper floor and into the canopy of trees, creating an upside-down version of a traditional house diagram. Steep slopes, dense tree cover, and an enormous boulder are all site influences central to the design solution. The primal, geologic character of the boulder had a profound impact on the building form.