Horses a Visual Presence by Clb Architects


The American Studio CLB Architects designed a cedar-clad house and barn in Wyoming for clients who love horses and wanted to return their property to its historical roots as a functional Ranch.

Designed for a couple who lived in New York, the Black Fox Ranch project is located in the Jackson Hole Valley, in western Wyoming.

Local firm CLB Architects was hired to design a main residence and barn for the 35-acre (14-acre) property, which is home to meadows, poplars and aspens and wild trails that attract hundreds of moose.

In the distance are the Teton Mountains to the west and the Gros Venter Range to the east.

When designing the project, the team relied on the history of the site as a livestock farm. Worn corals and irrigation Ditches, as well as the remains of a nineteenth-century Trapper hut, are still present on the property.

“The clients’ choice of location was influenced by their appreciation of wildlife and conservation, as well as their love of horses and their desire to return the land to its historical roots,” the team said.

“The house and the barn are defined by elementary shapes and materials that refer to the past of the place.”

For the main house, the team designed a two-story L-shaped building that gradually rises out of the property. The house is located near the barn and pastures to ensure that “the horses have a constant visual presence,” the team said.

The exterior walls are made of stained cedar and large glazed surfaces. The long low roof of the house is supported by a glued laminated plywood system.

Around the house, the architects have integrated terraces and thoughtful landscaping.

“Deliberately composed outdoor spaces surround the perimeter of the building, allowing access to panoramic views and preference for sun or shade throughout the day,” said the team.

The entrance is located near the center of the house, where the two Bars meet. Visitors enter a double-height Atrium with a high glass wall that offers an immersive view of the field.

On one side of the Atrium is the community area which contains an open kitchen, a dining area and a living room. These spaces are connected to outdoor equipment such as a pizza oven, a fireplace and a sheltered dining terrace.

On the other side of the Atrium there are more devoted areas – a den, a gym and a Sauna, as well as guest rooms. A garage is located at the other end of the plan.

The upper level, compact in design, houses a Master Suite with a glazed balcony and an office with access to a roof terrace.

The interiors are designed to create “a feeling of grounded and earthy warmth”.

The floor covering is made of white oak and concrete, walnut and custom-made steel were used for the milling work. The fireplace in the living room is made of reinforced concrete, while titanium-colored Travertine covers the stove in the master bedroom.

The barn follows a similar design language to that of the main house.

The low building has a rectangular plan and a slightly inclined asymmetrical roof.

Light and dark tinted cedar was used on the facades. The interior has wooden walls, exposed beams and a long skylight.

The Black Fox Ranch project has also made various improvements to the landscape.

“A new topsoil and native seedlings have been added to restore the land, and the newly planted aspens provide shade and create a sense of landscaping,” the team said.

“Ultimately, this legacy project helps the owners return to their equestrian roots and guide the historic Ranch into the future.”

Other Wyoming projects by CLB Architects include a cedar and local stone-clad house inspired by Swiss Chalets and a high-end ski area designed to offer a “chic but relaxed” atmosphere.

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