- Name: Dragonfly House
- Bedrooms: 4
- Bathrooms: 5
- Size: 6,500 sq. ft.
- Built: 2016
Poised at the ecotone between a Ponderosa pine forest and a tranquil lake, the Dragonfly House is a striking vacation home created as a harmonious retreat for a family seeking respite from urban life. Rooted in the desire to forge a legacy of shared memories, the house is designed as a seamless extension of the surrounding landscape. Crafted with a commitment to environmental sensitivity, the exterior boasts reclaimed barnwood siding, aging gracefully to merge organically with the forest over time. The central living and dining area, with its double-height guillotine window walls, opening to panoramic views of the lake, creating a unique vantage point that appears as a singular plinth floating above the forest floor when the walls are open. A balance of transparency and enclosure, from the screened porch to the covered deck, invites the family to engage with nature throughout the changing seasons.
The home’s thoughtful program integrates a connection to nature into every facet of its design. The master bedroom, elevated amidst the treetops, offers unobstructed views of the lake through expansive glazing on three sides. Complementing the main structure are two auxiliary buildings nestled in the meadow, featuring planted roofs that seamlessly merge with the surroundings. The smaller structure serves as a playroom with doors that open on both sides, blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces. The larger structure, designed as a hub for outdoor recreation, includes storage space for equipment, reinforcing the family’s commitment to an active, nature-centric lifestyle.
Beyond its architectural prowess, this residence pays homage to the family’s deep connection to the land, evolving from a cherished camping spot to a thoughtfully designed haven. A carefully orchestrated site plan guides occupants along a meandering path through the forest, culminating in a breathtaking view of the lake. From covered decks to a strategically placed fire pit and a hot pool nestled into the hillside, the outdoor spaces form a constellation, inviting a journey of discovery from the house to the lake. In the eloquent words of architect Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA, “Like a dragonfly, this house sits lightly on the land and disappears into the landscape. It quietly emerges out of the forest and overlooks the lake below.”
- Architect: Olson Kundig Architects
- Builder: Bear Mountain Builders
- Windows: Dynamic Fenestration
- Landscape: White Cloud Design
- Photography: Nick Lehoux
- Location: Whitefish, MT, USA