The vast expanse of land around Bozeman, Montana – a city in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, not far away from Yellowstone National Park – has been seen by many, and even more so with the pandemic, as an ideal place to escape from the madding crowd and enjoy the benefits of remote working. In a region of short summers and extreme winters, compact constructions are the norm, so a house with a courtyard may seem out of place. But this is the solution adopted by the architects, who are the future inhabitants, to open up the building in different directions and ensure views of the mountain range without sacrificing the privacy provided by the central garden as a counterpoint.
The house is made to sit on a concrete platform which, adapting to the slight change in ground level, is stepped, creating spaces with more headroom in the lowest part – since the roof maintains a constant level. Two L-shaped schemes are organized at opposite corners of the courtyard: the domestic area, joined by a heated garage that is able to double as a ‘student central,’ and a small workplace equipped with a sauna. Between both, the flat roof – executed with beams of laminated timber which, unusually, are set parallel to the eaves – protects two outdoor terraces. One of these is sheltered by an exterior fireplace and the other one has the advantage of a sweeping vista of the scenery around.