Situated on the Big Wood River in the shadow of Bald Mountain, this Ketchum, Idaho site has been called home to an active outdoorsy family for nearly 30 years. The entrepreneurial couple borrowed money from a friend to purchase the land and built a modest home to raise their children.

Through their love of sports and outdoor activities, they taught their children that life is a game that is meant to be actively played while instilling respect and appreciation of nature. The fast-moving rapids of the Big Wood River became a river surfing venue for their children with the Sawtooth Wilderness serving as their playground. Their business was very much a reflection of their life philosophy, beginning their journey in the business of building kayaks and evolving into a very successful company focusing on sports, outdoor, and protective eyewear.

To reward their successes, the family hired a local architect and set about planning their dream home. Recognizing the importance of the landscape, several local landscape design firms were solicited. Because no one seemed to capture the spirit of the place, the architect convinced the owner to look outside the area giving the opportunity to a Washington, DC firm.

The landscape architect traveled to the site with a roll of trace and an open mind. By the end of the initial marathon meeting, the client was excited that a designer could quickly capture the essence and subtleties of the site they knew so well. The client was looking to preserve all of the things that they loved about their small slice of the wild while incorporating a significantly larger family home. It was clear that reaching beyond the invisible property lines to the expansive, mountainous landscape of the Big River Valley would be the main source of inspiration and connectively for this project

  • 2015 Merit Award, American Society of Landscape Architects, Potomac Chapter