Los Angeles, CAA


Kinderhorn Residence

     The residence is situated on a 16 acre mountain site at the edge of the town of Ketchum and the famous Sun Valley Ski Resort in Idaho. The design for this house for a young couple and child was inspired as much by its topographical conditions as it was by the client’s own interest in athletics, skiing, biking, and running. The site is defined by two relatively small mountain peaks situated in the center of the Wood River Valley and the spectacular and majestic peaks that surround it on all sides.
With an elevation change of over 200 feet, the site is visible from the valley, splitting between the Sun Valley Lodge and Resort to the east and the Snake River and Sawtooth Mountain Ranges to the west. The house nestles into the lower section of the site by folding in upon itself and aligning with the two peaks on the site. Built into the hill while also floating above the valley, the house negotiates between the elements of rock and sky.
     The main entry, ski waxing room, recreation room, study, and garage are all situated on the ground level, set into the mountainside with a cast concrete structure. The walls emerge from the ground, acting as retaining walls. Floating and cantilevered above this concrete earthwork are the main living areas, which form an ‘L’ shaped volume.  These areas are clad in thin silver colored white Atlantic cedar and large expanses of glass, emphasizing and energizing its lightweight and expansive nature. The ‘L’ volume wraps around the concrete base and frames a triangular sky space courtyard that rakes light into an internal piazza for family gatherings and a place where their young daughter can play on an otherwise mountainous terrain of rocks and hill.
The final undulating twist of the house occurs at the north where the Master Bedroom aligns with the Peak of Kinderhorn Mountain, an effect of landscape on built form. From here the clients enjoy a purified and unobstructed view of the natural landscape: white snow and sky in winter, a riot of mountain wildflowers and high desert green in spring, and a serene dry rocky landscape with silver green foliage and blue skies in summer.
     As the house twists, folds, rises and cantilevers from rock to sky, the ‘L’ shaped volume affords panoramic views of the village of Ketchum below and the distant landscape of the ski slopes beyond. When the site is covered in a blanket of snow, the exterior materials of silver grey wood, translucent milk white glass, and light grey concrete blend into the mountain, as if in a fuzzy snowstorm.
     The interiors have been conceived as varying zones of intensity and color, ranging from dark deep browns to golden yellows and ethereal whites; relating the energy source of each area to the internal purpose of the space and the ever-present outside landscape.

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Status: Built
Location: Sun Valley, ID, US
Firm Role: Principal Architect
Additional Credits: Project Architect: Tom Hartman
Interior Design: Mies Grybaitis Al-Sayed
Consultants and Collaborators:
Structural Engineer: Brickey Design Associates
Mechanical Engineer: Otterbein Engineering
Electrical Engineer: Plexus Consulting