As night settles on the hills of Park City’s Promontory community, the lights of this stunning house begin to glitter. From the outside, it appears as a multifaceted jewel nestled into the hillside. This visual is courtesy of the dynamic architecture in its curvaceous glory.
The homeowners previously had a home in Promontory, but they wanted more privacy, so they chose a secluded lot with sweeping panoramic views of Park City, Deer Valley and beyond. “Rather than looking at one view, I wanted to embrace the entire opportunity,” says architect Michael Upwall, who combined efforts with interior designer Marian Rockwood and contractor Midway Construction Company to create a home that capitalized on the spectacular site. “We literally wrapped the house around the view. As you move through the home, the radius design presents each window pane as a unique perspective on the landscape below, creating a multifaceted experience.”
Designed to arc and flow with its natural surroundings, the home’s dramatic extended roofline responds to the valley and the shape of the hills. “It celebrates the expansive potential of the view,” says Upwall. “It’s an active story that reaches up to the heavens to create a sense of timelessness and a connection to nature.”
Vertical circulation is an integral component in most mountain dwellings; in this home, Upwall translated it into a spectacular spiral staircase that performs like a functioning piece of statement-making art. “Spirals are prevalent in the wild,” says Upwall. “The stairway is a natural extension of that, enticing vertical movement through space. As you move between floors, it’s an inviting experience you want to do, rather than just something you have to do.”
To enhance the home’s dynamic architecture, interior designer Marian Rockwood tended to her clients’ wish list with bold design and a keen attention to detail. “The homeowners had three priorities,” she says. “Unusual lighting and materials, vibrant art and fabulous fireplaces. They wanted a warm, contemporary home.” Rockwood had worked with the owners on their previous home and knew them well. “They are happy, upbeat, joyous people,” she says. “The perfect clients. They had clear vision of what they wanted and made quick decisions.”
As a result, the home strikes a flawless balance between elegant and playful design. Rockwood’s liberal use of wood and glass, exquisite stone slabs and unusual materials such as limestone, leather and petrified wood add dimension, whimsy and color. The homeowners entertain often and wanted the space imbued with comfort, so many furnishings were custom designed to fit not only the interior’s uniquely rounded walls, but also the family’s active lifestyle. For example, swivel chairs in several rooms allow those seated to interact with other people in all directions. Rugs were tailored to fit curved walls and all the glass integrated into the staircase was perfectly cut and formed to fit.
Rockwood designed bespoke lighting elements with options for change. On one feature wall in the lower level, each light is installed so it can be independently adjusted 360˚ to create different patterns. At the downstairs bar, a dial controls the colors of lights on the wall, fiber optic theater ceiling and bar back, so people can change the dial according to their changing moods. In this home, lighting is more than illumination, it is interactive art.
The fireplaces are similarly engaging. They were custom designed and installed by hand to create dynamic, three-dimensional elements that impart depth to the spherical architecture. Art collected from the owners’ travels adds to the overall experience. “When people see this home, they think it’s amazing,” says Gary Hill, co-owner of Midway Construction Company. “That stems from the vision of the architect, homeowners, interior designer and landscape designer. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this project was collaborating with such a talented team and bringing that collective vision to fruition.” The home orbits around the precious notion of movement and change. It’s vibrant, vivid and filled with the very texture of life. “It’s an ongoing story that will never be finished,” Upwall explains.
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Photography: Scot Zimmerman
Interior designer: Marian Rockwood, MHR Design, Park City
Architect: Michael Upwall, Upwall Design Architects, SLC
Contractor: Gary Hill and Chris Newitt, Midway Construction, Heber City