Tom Kundig’s Studhorse is a modern mountain retreat of four buildings nestled around a large rock in Washington state. Designed to resemble a camp of encircled wagon caravans, the open and airy structures make the vast, idyllic landscape of Methow Valley the focus for its residents. The separate structures encourage the visiting family to utilize the outdoors protected by overhanging cantilevered eaves, whether in the heat of summer or snow-filled winter.
In the spirit of the old West, the Studhorse complex was meant to evoke the nightly circle of wagon trains in which settlers would situate themselves around a fire to camp for the night on the long journey out west. By breaking up the home into four structures, the vacation home offers memorable inconveniences that force the resident family to interact with nature and architecture in new ways.
Clad in rusted Corten steel to match the arid landscape, each of the four pieces of Studhorse were meant to be activated during the different seasons. An outdoor bar swings open in the summer time, acting as a place to catch a cool drink after a dip in the pool. Cantilevered roofing jut out from each building, creating covered shelters during rain or snow.
Inside, the structures are warm and welcoming, clad in salvaged barn wood walls that meet with floor to ceiling windows that bring in light and views. One volume houses the kitchen, dining space and living room situated around a raw concrete chimney. The bedrooms and a den are housed in another large volume, with windows that open onto the outside. A guest house and a small sauna make up the remainder of the circle.
The all-weather retreat embraces the picturesque landscape of the region, giving the clients an escape to reconnect with nature.