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Single-Family Home, Ranch - Salt Lake City, UT
This 1960 Mid-Century Modern residence, originally designed by Robert Fowler, has been remodeled, remapped, and completely reenvisioned. From the street view, a minimal and perfectly manicured front scape runs parallel to clean white board and batten and elongated horizontal lines, hinting at what awaits you beyond these pearly white gates. A holy trinity of great bone structure, site potential, and one of the most talented architects around came together for this total transformation. Beginning with the landscape design, Ken Pollard set out to feature the natural environment, rather than dominate it. The owner and his wife had a beloved pair of bronze elephants, purchased on their honeymoon. With the elephants serving as a starting point, Ken created a "descent of the Ganges"andacirc;andeuro;"a journey to the elephants' final resting place. The garden and courtyards all revolve around this concept. Entering the garden through the kitchen (and the artist-designed mahogany back door), you are taken on a pilgrimage down a flight of stairs, past a cantilevered deck that floats out over the vinca minor, down to another courtyard and the beginning of a sycamore allandAtilde;andcopy;e. The allandAtilde;andcopy;e, lined on both sides with London planetrees and Central Park benches, gradually steps down from east to west. Bluestone pavers alternate with floating stairs, creating a ripple effect, ushering you to the site of a 30-year old Japanese maple and the elephant pair. The elephants are stationed atop a stainless-steel gabion filled with recycled seafoam green glass, representing the waters of the river Ganges. Lit from below, the glass glows like a pond frozen, beneath a love offering frozen in time. The view of the house from the garden below was of prime concern to the architect as well. The existing structure was opened up by removing as many walls and edges as possible and encasing the back of the home in glass. Floating stairs with modern wire cable railing systems in the interior serve to enhance the open-air effect. Painted cedar board and batten was used for the interior and exterior walls and reused as forms for the concrete wall that cradles the slope of the garden. You'll notice these kinds of repeating patterns in the materials and textures used throughout the property, adding a certain rhythm and harmony to the scenery. The steel wall which holds the hillside is composed of the same board and batten design, with a serrated pattern on top that mimics the edges of the roof overhang. The bluestone is carried into the house on the soaring vertical see-through fireplace and on the stairways. At the stroke of evening, crystal clear LED lights - set on a timer - illuminate the yard. And a custom firepit begins to dance and flicker on a patio fit for up to 200 guests, overlooking unobstructed views of the valley. Professional arborists have sculpted the sycamore to hold up the glowing sea of lights from the city below like a pedestal, and a custom green screen obscures any thoughts of neighbors. The collection of viewing decks placed strategically around the property pull in the panoramic views from every elevation and angle. Throughout the house, a focus on the consistent use of materials adds a sense of tranquility and an ease of flow from room to room. Spacious entryways and hallways have a brightening effect on the space as a whole. Walnut paneling, Brazilian cherry treads, Douglas fir ceilings, and American cherry furnishings all add to the unparalleled style and beauty of the interior environment. The floors consist of prefinished Ipe, granite, or terrazzo, and include radiant heat in the kitchen and bathrooms. With not one detail left unconsidered, the kitchen ceiling was painted two shades of blue to pick up the distant Utah sky. A Poulsen light dangles like a soft moon above the dining area. Bursts of color add a sense of liveliness to the otherwise monochromatic scheme, creating a striking visual contrast between juxtap