Ketchum

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.