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Sun Valley Residence

This all-season home occupies a 1.5 acre, west facing site in Sun Valley, Idaho. The house was strategically designed by Rick Joy Architects and positioned to maximize visual access to nearly 360 degree views. Modern Sun Valley house built on a bluff overlooking Baldy Mountain. A cozy vacation home with exposed granite and tough geometry form.

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© Jeremy Bittermann

Carefully situated on this steep hillside, the design minimizes disturbance to the native landscape that is so revered by the owners. The angular entry drive derives from the architectural forms and slices from the street through the hillside, retaining the uphill grade and accentuating dramatic views to the nearest mountain to the east, delivering cars to a stone-paved arrival court. Several terraces extend indoor spaces into the outdoors and offer particular, framed views of the nearby mountains. Throughout the design and construction process, care is being taken to ensure preservation of the native sage that encompasses the home.

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© Jeremy Bittermann

Sun-Valley-Residence-By-Rick-Joy-Architects-04-Jeremy-Bittermann-759x569 Sun Valley Residence / Rick Joy Architects

© Jeremy Bittermann

Design Features:

  • Rick Joy’s Sun Valley House has two wings, with roofs raked in opposite directions. These wings are angled and crooked so that its rooms capture the best views of the rugged landscape. The configuration also creates a sheltered entry court at the southern end and provides a ground-level terrace with a stair to a rooftop deck at the northern end.
  • Most of the windows frame far-off vistas. The exception is the sliding glass door in the master bedroom. It offers a view of a brush-covered hillock that rises just a few feet away. The rafters and the flooring, both of Douglas fir, run in the same direction and lead the eye outside.
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© Jeremy Bittermann

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© Jeremy Bittermann

  • Split the volume along the gabled roof ridge to create two wings: the western one is two stories with its lower level partially submerged in the sloping terrain, and the eastern wing that is single-story.
  • In the house’s two main living spaces, the exposed rafters soar as high as 20 feet. A much lower (9 feet tall) drywall ceiling establishes an intermediary circulation zone, where the two rooms’ geometries meet.
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© Jeremy Bittermann

  • The house has the best vantage points for taking in the rugged landscape, from the kitchen and dining room, they are able to appreciate a set of sawtooth-shaped peaks.
  • Much of the house is enclosed in masonry walls, exposed inside and out, made of a local granite. The roofs and remaining walls are framed construction, clad in a rainscreen system of interlocking steel panels.
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© Joe Fletcher

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© Jeremy Bittermann

Rick Joy Architects:

The project’s biggest challenge, says the architect, was creating a building that is light on the land but is also rooted in it. He satisfied these seemingly incongruous goals by enclosing those parts of the house that are cut into the slope in rubble walls. The stone, granite from southern Idaho, is exposed inside and out.

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© Rick Joy Architects

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© Joe Fletcher

The rest of the structure is clad with bronze-toned-steel roof and wall panels and is framed primarily in Douglas fir, but also includes exposed wide-flanged steel elements. “It was a little like adding onto an existing building,” says Joy of his strategy for combining the masonry walls and the lighter-weight framed system.

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© Jeremy Bittermann

Project Data:

Project name: Sun Valley Residence
Location: Sun Valley, Idaho, United States
Coordinates: 43.701644, -114.338921

  • Type By Characteristic: Holiday House, Contemporary House
  • Type By Site: Hill House
  • Type By Size: Large House – (more than 650 sqm)
  • Type By Materials: Stone House

Project Area: 711 sqm (7,900 sq.ft)
Site Area: 1.5-acre
Status: Completed
Completion Year: October 2013

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Private
Architects: Rick Joy Architects – 400 South Rubio Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85701, United States
Principal in Charge: Rick Joy
Project Managing Architects: Matt Luck
Design Phase: Howard Chu
Project Designers: Howard Chu, Claudia Kappl
Project Team: Natalia Zieman, Luat Duong, Bruno Vidal, Stephanie Griffith, Patrick Ruggiero, Eleni Koryzi, Sarah Dickerson Luck
Structural engineer: Harris Engineering
Landscape Architect: Michael Boucher Landscape Architect
Lighting Design: Concept Lighting Lab
General Contractor: Schuchart / Dow – Jim Dow
Text Description: © Courtesy of archrecord.construction, Michael Boucher Landscape Architect
Images: © Rick Joy Architects, Michael Boucher Landscape Architect, Jeremy Bittermann, Joe Fletcher Photography

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Sun Valley Residence / Rick Joy Architects
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