Bigwood Residence by Olson Kundig

The landscape of the American West stands still in time. It remains defined by the rugged cowboys herding cattle across centuries-old grazing routes, wide open spaces where horses can roam free, and an uninterrupted tapestry where the mountains reach the sky and Icarus continues to fly towards the sun. U.S. design firm Olson Kundig, perfectly captures the iconic American West in the recently completed Bigwood Residence.

The Bigwood Residence backs into a hillside in Sun Valley, Idaho. The 6,500 square foot home redefines the term “vacation home,” choosing to instead replace it with a spacious combination of glass and steel. Sweeping views of Griffen Butte, Adams Gulch, and Bald Mountain can all be enjoyed from the home. Split into two bars, the main dwelling and the guest quarters, the Bigwood Residence seems to grow out of the hillside.

A 23 foot wide glass wall lifts up and invites the space to become one with the great outdoors. In fact, in the words of the architects, “the outdoors is welcomed in at nearly every turn, with expansive windows and wide-swinging doors that celebrate the interior / exterior connection.” From the eroding corner glass doors that seamlessly pivot into an intimate interior courtyard to the overhanging metal roof that provides shade, to the energy efficient window shades and the sheathed wood flooring, the entire Bigwood Residence is custom made to create harmony between the American West and a vacation home that invites an extended stay.

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