East Fork, Idaho

This large property near Sun Valley, Idaho is located at an elevation of 7,000 feet with only fifty growing days a year and limited rainfall. Our idea was to soften the house into the landscape and reduce its visual prominence. To emulate the indigenous foliage, we planted clusters of native aspen and Douglas fir trees as well as red-twig dogwood and yellow willow.

In the middle of the second-floor courtyard, a swimming pool was emptied and filled with earth. After placing dozens of huge stone planks, the courtyard floor was planted with aspen trees, Lobelia nummularia, and Hostas, luxuriant foliage that can survive within the protected environment. In the back are terraces with rows of crab apple trees. Along the driveway, maple trees are planted in lines, their branches woven together to form a flat plane above the ground level. When approaching the house from below, they create a sequence of views in which the house is both veiled and revealed.