A WINDING DRIVEWAY CURVES to a dramatic, yet understated house within the enclave of the prestigious Yellowstone Club. The home combines rare elements of rustic, contemporary and an almost impossible attention to detail. Right down to the finishing nails used on the exterior to the newspaper pastiche peeking through the walls in the playroom, each little thing builds heart into this home.
“We’re the kind of architects that work with the site,” Jamie Daugaard, principal architect with Centre Sky Architecture, said. “We look at the contours, the view corridors and the natural vegetation, as well as, what the client is requesting and their personalities, all of which informs our design and creates ‘the clients style’.”
Daugaard linked together the different spaces in the home to create a place where the sum is greater than its parts. Exposed steel beams — stripped, rusted and waxed — give them a dark wood-like feel. The cathedral ceiling at the entrance entices the eye upwards and the narrow foyer adds to this effect. Each area has an individual feel, but combined they result in an overall invitation to fully experience, not only an exquisite sense of place, but a lush, ambrosial environment.
The exterior makes use of rustic reclaimed timbers over a stone foundation, with a covered bridge structure connecting the two main components of the house, under which runoff can flow freely down a boulder-strewn path.
Outside, the house is surrounded by Colorado buff sandstone flagstones on the outdoor patio, the firepit offers a wonderfully intimate view of the mountainous landscape.
“We had the gas firepit specifically made for the owners,” Pete Penfold, project manager on the house and now property manager for these and several other clients in the Big Sky area, says. Made of realistically sized steel logs, complete with sprigs of pine boughs, and hand textured bark the firepit provides heat and atmosphere.
Penfold was one member of the team that made the project come together, Daugaard said. Boles Construction and Harker Design each brought something of their own styles to the table. Interior designers Kath Costanti and Abby Hetherington, of Harker Design, in Big Sky, were in from conception to completion and as a team they created this unique project.
“The big picture is: it’s a young family and we really wanted it to be warm and friendly and user-friendly,” Costanti said. “We communicated a lot with the clients and the architect as well as the builder so we really got to know everyone involved and got the kind of house the client wanted.”
The game room, on the lower level, allows family members a place to play.
Penfold met with the client at a lumberyard or a shipyard to choose exactly the right timbers. Costanti would find something so perfect for the family — whether it was the antique bank vault doors from Chicago or the very mechanical bull Walt Disney purchased for his own kids.
“And they were glad I did,” she said. “I felt we matched it up with their personalities. We took them to places they didn’t know they wanted to go but they’re very happy they went there now.”
A great example is the cherry red 1947 Diamond T truck turned bedframe in the boy’s room.
“They saw this cool truck downtown,” Abby Hetherington said. “We knew their little boy was five years old and he just loved it.”
Not to be neglected the six-year-old girl’s love of everything horses came into play.
“We came up with the horse/barn theme for her room,” Hetherington said. That bedroom has a “hayloft” to sleep in and some outdoorsy wall treatments. “The whole house is very eclectic. We love finding interesting antiques and pieces that have some kind of connection to the client.”
The rustic contemporary lines, forms and unique use of materials created by Centre Sky Architecture is clear in the custom-made state of the art, aged elevator that rises to the second floor library and a secluded observation tower. The welded wire mesh lift even sounds like an old warehouse elevator with the clang of the steel door and a mechanical cry of cable pulleys.
Built not only as an investment, but also as a legacy, Penfold made sure to fully understand the lifestyle of the client and used that information to make every decision the right one.
“I put removable drip pans under the built-in ski rack closets in the garage,” Penfold said, deftly pulling out the drawer below the enclosure. “A lot of the little things aren’t really noticeable — like the handmade snow fences on the roof — but are fully integrated into the personality of the house.”
A stone path from the main house that leads below the covered bridge and into the movie theater is the surprise ending to the story of this home.
“They liked the idea of going out to the movies,” Constanti said. “So we made this an old-time screening room with a Western Theater ambiance.”
From the steady stone base to the higher tiered viewing tower, each element of the homestead is rich with a multitude of fine points.
“It’s a strong house,” Daugaard said. “The different volumes, the spires, exterior spaces and exposed steel, it may be three years of living in the house for the owners to realize all of the details we’ve put in there.”