Wasatch Range Retreat by CLB Architects

Wasatch Range Retreat

Piercing the Utah sky, the Wasatch Range Retreat takes formal cues from the hillside topography into which it is enmeshed. Designed with respect to the site’s strict height limits, the structure mimics the crests and divots of the landscape like a second-skin, resisting comprehension upon first approach.

The 11,800 square-foot residence was built as a vacation retreat for an energetic family, providing immersive access to the mountain lifestyle and facilitating a balance of privacy and communal activity. The retreat is sited to receive and respond to the surrounding scenery, natural daylight, and wide views over the valley below.

Positioned in a natural clearing, the structure was oriented to existing pathways to minimize ecological disturbance. Solar studies were used as key tools in the design process to optimize interior comfort, taking advantage of heat gain from the west, minimizing harsh exposure, and incorporating natural ventilation and shading systems.

First appearing as a modest single-story structure, the residence slowly unveils itself to the occupant upon entering. Hinged around a generous outdoor living area, the two branches of the home are linked by a glass-lined gallery on axis with the entry—an inhabitable threshold to be occupied by the clients’ growing art collection.

The southern branch of the home holds more public-facing spaces, including a generous kitchen, living, and dining area, and intimate family room and bar with views back toward the ski hill, allowing for easy access after a long day on the slopes.

The northern branch houses more private spaces, including four bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and the double-height stair to the lower level, all of which open onto dramatic vistas of the valley beyond.

A lower level recreation room, gym, guest lounge, two bedrooms, bunkroom, and specialized gear garage are further nestled into the hillside, providing plenty of territory for the family to expand their interests.

Clad in a “living finish” of earthy, weathered copper and resting on a base of board-formed concrete, the Wasatch Range Retreat is designed as an elegant outcropping to echo the rugged environment.

This restrained material palette carries from the outside in: locally-reclaimed stone leads to the front door, gestural travertine accents and refined custom oak millwork sweep through the kitchen, and board-formed concrete fireplaces in the living and primary bedroom areas draw lines up from the foundation to bookend the outdoor living space.

The flow between the domestic interior and the wilderness beyond is subtly demarcated by sleek steel-framed windows. Accessed through full-height glass sliding doors in the living room, a covered courtyard with sunken seating area and freestanding fire feature forms a new zone of interaction, in which patterns of daily life can be extended through the outdoors.

On the far edge of the property, a soaking tub recessed into rock appears as if it had been formed by geologic forces. Furnishings are curated to respond to larger design decisions and their elemental purpose, with no extraneous detail.

Carefully extracting each formal and material decision from the site itself, the Wasatch Range Retreat performs as a part of the larger ecosystem, and an elevated background for the homeowners’ everyday lives. Source by CLB.

  • Location: Utah, USA
  • Architect: CLB
  • Design Team: Eric Logan, Andy Ankeny, Forrest Britton, Danielle Price, Abigail Horton
  • Interior Design: Sarah Kennedy, Erica Hawley
  • Structural Engineer: KL&A
  • Mechanical and Plumbing Engineer: Axiom
  • Electrical Engineer and Lighting Designer: Helius
  • Specifications: iBIM (Greg Markling)
  • Acoustical Engineer: Wave Engineering
  • Year: 2025
  • Images: Notion Workshop, Courtesy of Cameron MacAllister Group