So, a funny thing happened to me on the way into oral surgery…
While dealing with the pain of a shattered molar, I started thinking about a hillside on a mountainous piece of canyon that was giving me fits.
The heavily wooded hillside rolls down into a belly that holds a natural groundwater pond. Beyond the approximately 1 acre pond is a pasture that will hold a beloved Percheron Stallion that’s literally as big as a mountain himself. The property is SO untouched, the discovery of that big beautiful beast so inviting, that it seems only natural to keep it as natural as possible.
From the gate above the property and it’s accompanying drive down the hill to the homesite, it’s essential to allow the casual spectator to bask in the wonder of all those trees, flora and fauna, without being confronted by a monument to someone’s ego.
And, I have an excavator… LOL!
So, the idea is to cut a pair of ISBU homes into the hillside by cutting into the existing hill and then shoring the cut up with a CMU (concrete block) retaining wall. They’re going to look something like this;
Think of it as “Montana Mountain Minimalist Modern”. LOL!
A 2,400 square foot 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with detached garage will face down the mountain across the stallion pasture.The garage and workshop are detached because of the severity of the grade and the desire to keep some of the sounds of machinery and tools away from the residential structure. Don’t worry, it’ll be easily navigated in spite of the difficulties of the site.
A small (approximately 800 square foot) guesthouse will be located on the opposite side of an enclosed courtyard framed by the retaining wall and the building clusters. A single ISBU container will form a “bridge” between the pair of residential structures, allowing movement between the homes in the dead of winter without having to actually “go out into the snow”. Think of this as a simple “Mother-In-Law” quarters arrangement. And that Corten created “pass-thru” (reinforced, insulated – with SPF of course – and glazed) will actually serve as a small walk-through greenhouse supplying fresh produce to both households.
The guesthouse will look out over the pond, which is framed by the trees and mountains behind it. A stone patio and recessed firepit will allow guests to bask in the splendor of the Montana Mountains. One of the luxuries of living in a deep Montana canyon is that you’re surrounded by breathtaking mountain vistas on all sides.
We’ll close off the courtyard using reclaimed barn siding from a few old structures already located on the site and the stone for the fireplaces and retaining wall veneers will come from a local quarry.
You literally won’t see the residences until you round the corner as the grade drops. As you enter the property all you’ll see is trees, mountains, deer and elk.
Most of the materials and fixtures used in the construction of this hillside project will actually come from the “reclaimed and repurposed” piles. I can’t begin to tell you how happy that makes me. I love it when a plan comes together.
Once the pain killers wear off, I’ll give you a better idea of what we’re doing. It’s going to be incredible!