The PLC Residence is located on top of a butte in Jackson Hole with 300 degree view panorama. The client wanted to capture all views and requested a house of mostly glass. However, the client wished to offset the glass by implementing “green principals”. In addition, the house needed privacy from the cul-de-sac ending on the client’s property.
Rammed Earth walls and concrete floors are used as thermal mass to offset heat loss from glazing. The concrete floors also contain hydronic heat tubing. Large roof overhangs help shade the triple pane high-efficiency glass in summer and allow low sun angles to warm the rooms in winter. Water features help temper the arid Wyoming environment at the terraces; and a closed loop ground source heat pump with a back-up natural gas boiler cost effectively heats and cools for the house. Energy Recovery Generators keep the interior air conditioned. Operable windows provide cross ventilation from the natural breezes that are almost always present on top of the Butte.
The architects used their newly patented post tensioned rammed earth design to make the massive walls stable in the high seismic zone. The earthen walls are also used as an organizing principal to define changes in the spatial geometry. Cedar board & batt roofs over the two upper level pavilions are used to mimic the roof of the old barn near the site. Horizontal 1×4 channel rustic cedar siding combined with Alaskan yellow cedar custom windows are both finished with “Life Time” wood treatment and intended to weather like the old barn. The combination of Rammed Earth, sod roofs, and naturally finished & weathered wood make the house fit seamless into the relatively un-touched Wyoming environment.
The result enabled the Owner’s original concept to symbiotically integrate with the site and natural surroundings.