Basecamp accommodation / CLB Architects
Textual description provided by the architects. Located in the heart of Moonlight Basin in Big Sky, Montana, this mountain retreat rises into dense spruce and pine trees, providing an intimate connection to the owner’s family’s natural environment. With their primary residence in Manhattan, the owner couple wanted a vacation home where they could reconnect with nature and encourage their three children to experience the landscape as they grow older. The husband spent time growing up on his grandfather’s tree farm in New Hampshire and wanted to recreate those precious experiences among nature for his young family.
The resulting 7,500-square-foot home brings family members closer to each other and to Big Sky’s forests and lakes, which are surrounded by indoor and outdoor spaces across the home’s two levels. The home serves as a launching pad for many outdoor recreational activities, including skiing, fishing and hiking, and is a framework within which the family connects with nature and each other.
Located in a densely forested sub-alpine area, the site of the house was carefully chosen to blend in with the natural environment and minimize disturbance to the site while maximizing the views. The house is aligned on the edge of a gentle slope. Its long, linear plan is punctuated by two wings at either end of the house that extend into the landscape to capture dramatic views. The two wings are angled outward to embrace the landscape and define a semi-sheltered outdoor space between the volumes.
A double-sided glazed corridor on the upper floor connects the two wings, focusing on a porous and transparent area at the heart of the house and inviting the outside. The driveway and car park are located to the south, opening the site to southern light. Bring it deeper into the house and into the lower basement. Sustainable aspects include local material sourcing, high-performance windows, a highly insulated envelope, and plenty of natural light.
The home’s program supports connectivity with modestly sized bedrooms downstairs to encourage family members to congregate in the main living areas. Elevating the kitchen, dining and living spaces allows sweeping treetop views of Lake O’Leary and the Spanish Peaks. The design emphasizes the connection to nature in every room, with indoor entertaining areas directly connected to the outdoor spaces for a free flow of movement from inside to outside.
The interior design reflects the family’s unique personality and identity, while drawing influence from the natural surroundings. Continuous hemlock soffit extends from exterior to interior, with white oak and polished concrete floors in the bedrooms and living areas, and dark walnut woodwork in the kitchen. Dry stacked quartzite on the interior and exterior walls completes the primary material palette. Furnishings help bring the colors and textures of nature indoors, with accents of deep reds and oranges, rich leathers, rugs and textured fabrics that evoke the palette of an autumn landscape. A deeply personal art collection that unites the family’s two worlds, with pieces sourced locally and from New York City.
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