embracing big nipples, CLB architects bring contemporary architecture to wyoming
CLB Architects are completing a contemporary and warm home, nicknamed ‘Rivverbend’, along the Snake River near Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. the house nestles against the river, which forms the north and west perimeter of an 18 acre wooded property that offers spectacular mountain views to the north through a veil of poplars. careful study of the relationship between the site, the river, and the mountain views beyond led the architects to raise the ground floor of the 6,257 square foot home to six feet above the natural plan of the ground. the result is an architecture that engages with its river and mountain setting. CLB architectes surrounds the main house and the guest house of its Riverbend house with a south-facing terrace and an aspen grove. Resting on coffered concrete bases, the house is wrapped in a low-maintenance steel plate as protection against the harsh climate and to provide simple fire resistance. large overhangs shelter deep niches wrapped in cedar and glazed from floor to ceiling. exterior decks connect the main house to the guest house and further unify the design. the main house has a double height glazed entrance which projects towards the approach to the driveway. on the river side, a protected terrace runs the length of the house, rising to the second floor in the east. this versatile outdoor space serves as an extension to the living room, dining room and kitchen and provides access to the river via a series of platforms that descend to the level. In designing riverbend, the CLB team of architects uses a minimalist material palette to balance toughness and warmth. the large expanses of cedar siding are interrupted by vertical cedar fins that add texture and shadows, which change throughout the day. over time, the steel will develop a patina – eventually, the building will exchange its black hull for a rusty hull, fitting more into the site. inward, cedar walls and ceilings convey a comfortable richness throughout the curve of CLB Architects. concrete masses formed by panels anchor the entrance and the living spaces and hug the books of the open-plan living space. concrete flooring on the main level and beech flooring on the upper level complement the cedar and add an informal and cozy feel to the largely glazed spaces. while texture and color reflecting the client’s personality are introduced into the interior furnishings, the overall restraint of the architectural palette creates a constructed experience that feels like a tranquil platform among the trees.