A photo shoot in Park City had me thinking that a little respect for the land goes a long way. The location is the Old Ranch Road area where the Swaner Nature Preserve and new farmland conservation keeps the land largely open, and the farming operations continue as in the past.

The views to the back of the Wasatch and ski resorts are incredible. The home’s contours repeat the angles of the Wasatch’s slopes and the hills surrounding the little valley. Designed by Gigiplex Architects (Hank Louis), the home sits easily within the hillside with an extra garage built stealthily into the hillside with a living roof.

Park City is an area Hank Louis knows well, and he shaped the home for outdoor living sensitive not just to the views, but also the prevailing winds and need for some shade. The decks and patios provide more living space than the main level.

The open floor plan maintains 180-degree views inside the home, and “disappearing” glass doors open to the patios. The flooring is Terrazzo, something I don’t often see in new construction, but the flooring’s ongoing service to Moderne and Art Deco buildings from the 1920s demonstrates its durability.
The natural wood of the ceiling and kitchen cabinetry give warmth to the space in an otherwise neutral color scheme. There is plenty of storage despite the openness of the kitchen. I often see mountain kitchens where homeowners bemoan too little storage. Not so here.

The design carves out a quiet corner for a banquette and seizes an opportunity to create more storage in the bookshelves that frame the back of the area and below the seats.
Looking back toward the house from the deep terrace demonstrates the transparency of the home from the front door and how the open floorplan ties together.

The main terrace is truly a well-composed outdoor living room. The narrow profile metal railings are scarcely noticed when looking out beyond the barns, farmland, and scattered homes to the Wasatch.
For photos, the challenge was the smoky air from the summer fires. I picked a good day and started early in the morning before the smoke escalated, but it remains present in the shots. The alternative was night shots, but then the pastures and open space are lost, which play such an important role in appreciating the locale. Night shots also add drama, but that, too, seemed inappropriate for a serene design and setting.

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