After relocating to Ketchum Idaho in 2010, my intent to build locally was a test for myself on three levels: to see if I had the ‘legs’ for residential design (my experience of the last several years had been primarily in master planning and public space); to learn about local building practices and customs; and to see how the local market would respond to my style and method. Excited about working in a place with such natural beauty, I initially looked at vacant lots, but ended up buying a property with an existing structure. Built in 1979, the house needed extensive work, but the site offered unparalleled views of the mountains and a spectacular location on a creek. Because the project is located in a riparian zone, conforming to local code meant many restrictions on the extent of the renovation. Luckily the house had good bones and a basic layout that suited my needs, since a major addition would not have been allowable. Working within the footprint of the house, the renovation focussed on overhauling the building envelope and interior finishes, opening up the relationship between interior spaces, and creating more fluidity between interior and exterior spaces.
I hired a local builder immediately because I wanted the design process to be collaborative, and I believe that the design-build method, when possible, is the most efficient and cost-effective route. This collaboration with the contractor, subs, and local craftsmen benefitted the project on every level, from exterior, to building systems, to interior finishes.
2014 American Institute of Architects, Idaho Chapter