- Location: Teton County, Wyoming
- Square Feet: 4,000
- Year Complete: 2015
- Design Team: Chris Moulder AIA, Ben Weisbeck, Bryan Gleason, Andrew Dillion
The Wong’s inherited the property from Ling Tung, the longtime head Maestro of the Grand Teton Music Festival. The house was originally owned and built in the 70’s by a handyman. The building best represented his work as a hodgepodge of materials, shapes and a dozen elevations that together formed a log cabin on top of a hill. It was hobbit-like with low, cramped, ceilings, however it illustrated how homes of the valley were built back then when people would carve living space into every nook and cranny to have more room to hide away for the winter season.
The Wong’s wanted to keep the house as a homage to their maestro uncle. The objective was to minimally add on to the existing structure as it appeared reasonably straight, in good shape, and code compliant. Design was created and implemented based on the program but unfortunately once demolition occurred the horrors of prior construction practices, water, and rodent infestation became evident. Over the years many furry woodland creatures inhabited the house and took over, their remains became obvious later during demolition. An existing failing unreinforced concrete block retaining wall was discovered in the basement only after the stud wall was removed. Later mold and mildew issues were discovered and unfortunately a near complete removal of the existing structure was required.
The house was set down and demolished, except for the octagon and a portion of a concrete slab in the basement. Design principal, Chris Moulder, designed a new house that used the existing logs and timber from the octagon room. The new octagon, now a media room, was raised 3 feet and the floor was lowered a foot. No longer dark and confining, the entire home boasts large windows that allow natural light to brighten the interior and which frame the picturesque mountain-top views.
Starting anew rather than renovating resolved any issues with plumbing and electrical, allowed the walls and floors to be plumb, level and square and made it easier to add the 2-car garage. Now the home is code-compliant, with a new concrete foundation and structural steel that can withstand high winds and snow loads. Starting fresh gave the design team and the owners the creative opportunity to create a home that has an open floor plan and many outdoor entertaining areas that take into consideration the owners’ lifestyle.