WABI-SABI HOUSE

Wabi sabi is an ancient tenant of Japanese aesthetic culture.  It is a philosophy of beauty that embraces the imperfect, the incomplete and the transient.  Wabi sabi embraces simplicity and honesty in expression, those modest things in our world that express beauty as they weather and age.  In conceiving this house and while walking the site, the work began to coalesce around an idea of textures, materials, and expressed joinery and connections. 

Located in Emigration Canyon above Salt Lake City, Utah this 4,000 square foot home celebrates a unique elevated canyon view with a direct connection to nature.  Designed for a young family this home is separated into two volumes that float above the landscape.  The North volume is oriented along a direct East to West axis and includes the private domestic functions to address the quietly beautiful mountain views to the North.  The Southwest bar includes the more public active gathering spaces and is oriented along the canyon Axis toward dramatic views of the canyon and to the city below.

Upon entry, you are presented with a long corridor with a framed view of the mountain landscape.  The outdoor stone floor is brought into the interiors.  The exterior is clad with vertical cedar wood planks and each volume is finished in a unique way.  The public volume wood has a natural finish and the private volume is a blackened stain finish.  As you progress through the space, the shift in program is expressed with the public volume in line directly with the canyon view.

The design includes a lower level that incorporates a creative office space with a private outdoor patio.  The residence sits within its mountain site with minimal disturbance and the landscape is augmented with native and drought-tolerant plants and trees. This LEED home includes a double wall system for maximum r-value, high performance windows and building systems, a vegetated roof and is being constructed to include a roof mounted solar PV array.