The clients for this 500 square foot addition to a very traditional log house wanted something different for a contemplative study where the owners could work and read away from the rest of the house that is often filled with visiting family and friends. Being avid art collectors, they also had several key pieces that needed to be incorporated into the design including a large outdoor sculpture.
Located on a dramatic site high on a butte overlooking Jackson Hole, the pavilion responds to views, playing up the contrasts of shelter versus prospect, introspective versus outward looking. This was achieved by an open-L shape of rammed earth walls on the south and east, and a full wall of glass on the north. Horizontal slot windows in the rammed earth walls provide framed views to the Sleeping Indian and Wolf Mountain to the east and south. A simple shed roof floats above the entire composition, which reinforces the sense of grounding imparted by the rammed earth walls. A skylight parallel to the east wall illuminates the horizontal striations of the earth layers, celebrating the inherent beauty of the materials, which were sourced at a gravel pit nearby. A curving wood and copper gallery leads from the existing house into the space. An outdoor shower, sheltered by a steel screen commissioned from a local artist, helps resolve the geometry between the existing house and the addition.
The form of the pavilion creates a protected courtyard and mediates between old and new. A stunning monumental bronze nude sculpture is placed strategically to frame views from both the existing house and the new pavilion. Exterior materials, playing off against a traditional log house, are bronze-clad windows, bonderized steel walls, and rammed earth. Stained concrete floors, clear vertical grain fir paneling and bookshelves, integrally stained plaster, and a floating copper ceiling are the palette for the interior spaces. The room is minimally furnished with classic modern chairs and desk by Thierry Lemaire, and a 400-year old carved stone Buddha head from the 9th century Chinese dynasty.