Jackson Hole Home Takes Cues From Surroundings

Traditional Western elements meet contemporary style in this Jackson Hole homestead designed by Ward+Blake Architects and inspired by the water, trees and mountains that surround it.

Mountain Estate With Barn

Mountain Estate With Barn

Nestled at the foot of mountains in Wyoming, this property is spectacular and includes a barn, main residence, pond and graceful landscaping.

Photo by: Roger Wade Photography

Roger Wade Photography

When designing a Jackson Hole home with accompanying barn and guest house for a globetrotting couple, Tom Ward turned to the land for cues on how it should look.

The property -- with its views of the Tetons, grove of aspen trees and distinctive water table -- had plenty of input to offer.

Cabin Living Room Exterior and Pond

Cabin Living Room Exterior and Pond

The living room, surrounded by windows, seems to float above the pond and is treated to views of an aspen grove.

Photo by: Roger Wade Photography

Roger Wade Photography

The result of Ward's architectural plan is a home that fuses both contemporary and traditional Western styles and that effortlessly ties together the mountains, trees and water. The project earned Ward+Blake Architects top honors in the 2017 HGTV Ultimate Outdoor Awards.

"Construction involves a fair amount of destruction, and we aim to minimize that," said Ward, co-principal of Ward+Blake Architects. "When we finish, even though it's a man-made structure it somehow talks to the land and it somehow is responsive and respective of the place in which it's placed."

Western in Spirit 02:16

Architect Tom Ward gives a tour of a home he designed in Jackson, WY.

The seven-acre property, once part of the homestead of one of Jackson Hole's earliest permanant settlers, is located near an old riverbed. The water table hovers just below the surface of the land, and Ward chose to embrace and work with the water rather than fight it.

Pond and Cabin Exterior

Pond and Cabin Exterior

A long, low pond borders the front of this Wyoming property. To get to the front door, residents and guests cross a dock-style walkway.

Photo by: Roger Wade Photography

Roger Wade Photography

The site was built up a few feet so that the buildings would sit well above the water table. Four ponds were built to wrap the home in a type of wetland that might be expected in the area.

"The structure always responds to the stimuli in the land," Ward says.

The pond located at the front of the home is fed by a spring that was drilled for the project. Gravity moves water via sluiceways around the side of the home, through a second pond by the hot tub patio and on to a third pond surrounding the grand living room at the back of the home.

Relaxing Water Features Surround Rustic Wyoming Home

Relaxing Water Features Surround Rustic Wyoming Home

Between the contemporary meets rustic home and barn is a body of water that surrounds the spa and is confined on all sides by man-made edges. The glass chinking between the barn's logs creates a striking mirror for the reflective water.

Photo by: Rodger Wade Photography

Rodger Wade Photography

The ponds attract wildlife that can be enjoyed from inside the home through its picture windows, and the moving water creates a serene soundscape for the outdoor living areas.

The living room's windows are oriented with views of the Teton Range and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, where the homeowners love to ski. At the clients' request, the entire property was laid out without removing a single aspen tree from the grove ensconcing the property.

Sluice Box and Deck View

Sluice Box and Deck View

A dreamy retreat in the mountains, this property features landscaping that seamlessly blends with meadows and aspen groves. This view shows off the home's rear deck and living room as well as the sluice box water feature.

Photo by: Roger Wade Photography

Roger Wade Photography

In addition to the sluiceways -- which reference Wyoming's mining history -- regionally sourced rustic building materials and the gambrel roofs on the barn and guest house evoke the traditional home styles of Jackson Hole.

"The exterior manifestation of the architecture is intended to pay homage to the homesteading family that originally settled here," Ward said. "In our homage to the ranch structure, we tried to take the barn form and give it a twist."

The twist in the barn, which houses a game room and rooms for guests, is the laminated glass chinking used in place of mortar. The barn's interior lighting shows through the chinking at night, creating a lantern effect.

Rustic Meets Contemporary Wyoming Home and Barn

Rustic Meets Contemporary Wyoming Home and Barn

The northwestern Wyoming home and barn is dominated by jurisdictional wetlands and natural water courses, so man-made water features are a natural enhancement to the landscape. In the front, the pond butts against the foundation of the barn and family room. The water exploits the glass chinking between the logs of the barn, providing a quietly dazzling mirror image of the barn.

Photo by: Rodger Wade Photography

Rodger Wade Photography

Contemporary style also shines in the clean lines of the main home's structure, sleek interiors and a glass-clad walkway connects the home to the barn.

"We aim to create an architecture that is westerin in spirit," Ward said. "It's a little rough around the edges. It's honest and inherently handsome."

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Ward + Blake Architects

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Ward + Blake Architects
wardblakearchitects.com/ 200 East Broadway Avenue Jackson, WY 83001 307-733-6867