BUCK Didn’t Fail Idaho.

BUCK has produced a nice animated short for the state of Idaho that blends traditional cel animation with After Effects and 3D Animation. The one minute forty five second spot embraces the current trend toward flat design, without being trendy. There is a vintage look to the piece that doesn’t feel gimmicky or tries to hard. The visuals just work and the fluid animation draws the viewer in compelling them to listen to the message. It took a team of twenty to put this together, and the quality shows. Credits are below the video.

Directed by: BUCK
Executive Creative Director: Ryan Honey
Executive Producer: Maurie Enochson
Producer: Emily Rickard
Associate Producer: Ashley Hsieh
Art Director: Ege Soyuer
Design: Ege Soyuer,Yuki Yamada, Susan Yung, Kenesha Sneed, Jenny Ko, Xoana Herrera
After Effects and 3D Animation: Daniel Coutinho, Claudio Salas, Esteban Esquivo, Andreas Hansen
Cel Animation: Matt Everton, Kendra Ryan, Claudio Salas, Song Kim, Laura Yilmaz, Gunnar Pettersson
Music Composition and Sound Design: Echolab

A Modern Vacation Cabin in Idaho.

Sitting here in a snow-covered and frozen midwest got me dreaming about being some place warm and sunny. This got me to thinking about things like a vacation house, and how lovely it would be to have one, or even afford one for that matter. Anyway I was doing a search for modern vacation homes, or cabin retreats, and I found the “Chicken Point Cabin”, at Lake Hayden in Idaho.

Designed by Tom Kundig, the design principal at Olson Kundig Architects, the 3400 square foot home is sited on a half-acre of land in the heart of the Coeur D’Alene National Forest. This structure sits 2300 feet above sea level looking out at 50 miles of shoreline, beaches and crystal clear mountain water.

When Kundig was designing the house, his focus was on creating a little box with extensive glazing to take full advantage of the views. On one side of the cabin there is a “Window Wall” measuring 20 by 30 feet in size. The entire window is hinged allowing it to open up to the outdoors extending the living space to the forest and lake.

The structure is built with low maintenance materials like exposed concrete block, steel beams and panels, concrete floors and plywood which helps to make this modern house feel more like a cabin. The surfaces were left unfinished on purpose so that the cabin would naturally age, and visually blend in with the surrounding environment.

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Aside from the main, window wall in thee heart of the structure, the cabin has few additional windows. This serves a couple of purposes, first it focuses the occupants of the house to look through the house to the lake, second it reduces heat and cooling load by minimizing the amount of actual glazing the house has. By having the entire lake-facing wall made of glass, as well as the majority of it being able to open, the residents of the house are able to feel as if they are outdoors, while still being sheltered by the environment.

Even though this cabin is located on a lake in Idaho where the current temperature is about 10 degrees, this is the kind of vacation house I could get into. Now I just need to find one like it in a warmer climate.

I Want My House to Blend Into the Landscape

One of the things that has been on my mind lately as I look at landscaping solutions for the new house, is how to blend our landscaping solution so it works seamlessly with the field to the south and the natural tree lines to the south and west. Today while I was doing some research I cam across this example for a home in Idaho that does a great job of blending the site to the surrounding land.

This example shows how the two harmoniously blend into a coherent shape that adjusts itself to the surrounding wilderness. The photos below show work done by Lutsko Associates, winner of the ASLA 2008 Residential Design Honor Award for the  Ketchum Residence located in Wood River Valley, Ketchum, Idaho.

The residence is placed on a suburban road, but opens up beautiful, natural fields covered with wild grasses and indigenous trees. Most landscaping projects see the landscape as being part of a distant view seen from inside the house. Lutsko  takes a different approach with The Ketchum Residence and inserts the natural habitat into the built space. They achieve this by letting native plants and wildflowers grow in between the stepping-stones, up until close to the walls.

The weather in the area offers appropriate conditions for this project due to a desert climate. Summer sun exposure is moderate and although winter conditions can be harsh, the climate is temperate enough to generate a complex flora, cleverly linked to the design. The residence further integrates into the local ecosystem by using pavilions and terraces. In addition it has both a walkway bounded with steel edges and a driveway, for efficient communication with the neighborhood. The indoors and outdoors are linked with paths fit for casual strolls.

The architects opted for the regional color palette both in the materials they have chosen, and also in the selection of plants for the near vicinity. This has the advantage of easy maintenance, reducing the need for exterior upkeep resources. Case in point: stone finishing for the terraces and natural rusted steel to offer appearance similar to the surrounding nature.

Photo credit: Marion Brenner Photography and Ron Lutsko, Jr.

Photo credit: Marion Brenner Photography and Ron Lutsko, Jr.

Photo credit: Marion Brenner Photography and Ron Lutsko, Jr.

Photo credit: Marion Brenner Photography and Ron Lutsko, Jr.

Photo credit: Marion Brenner Photography and Ron Lutsko, Jr.

Photo credit: Marion Brenner Photography and Ron Lutsko, Jr.

Photo credit: Marion Brenner Photography and Ron Lutsko, Jr.