Montana Business Listing
Sat, Aug 21, 2010 02:06 PM MDT
The proximity of Seattle to Montana seems to be drawing closer. You can see a small but noticable shift toward contemporary design in Montana homes, and this home on a small lake near Whitefish brought Pacific Northwest architecture inland.
Tucked away on a secluded knoll overlooking Bootjack Lake near Whitefish is this contemporary home from Malmquist Construction. One of northwest Montana’s longest-tenured builders of fine custom homes, Malmquist Construction brought Seattle architect Barry Gehl’s plans to life. The home was built for a Seattle couple, who wanted to bring their love for Pacific Northwest-influenced architecture with them. Low roof lines, abundant glass and native stone give the home sharp, angular features and a feeling of contemporary design.
“They really brought that flavor to this project,” Casey Malmquist said. “It’s very different from what people classify as the Montana look. The site is pretty amazing, too.” Bringing the Pacific Northwest style to Montana required some creativity also, as that architecture generally doesn’t address issues of snow and cold.
The three-bedroom home and detached guest house are sandwiched between the lake and a small creek, with only a one-lane road available for access. The home is in a delicate natural area. “The big challenge was getting the house to fit into the site,” Malmquist said. Landscape architect Bruce Boody had his work cut out for him on this project. “It had some issues,” Malmquist said.
One of the issues was having to put the septic drain field 1/4 mile from the home. “That took a lot of really careful planning,” Malmquist said. With the home being placed on a cliff, blending the home into the natural surroundings also took some creativity. Helping Malmquist make the home look even more natural was the use of Shotcrete, a spray-on concrete that can be formed to look exactly like natural rock. A hot tub overlooking the lake appears as if it was sculpted out of natural rock, and parts of the ledge where the guest house sits were built with the artificial “zoo rock” material.
“It’s a beautiful setting. The challenge was making it fit into this environment, but the architect’s vision was that it would fit in,” landscape architect Bruce Boody said.
One reason why the Shotcrete product was used is that getting heavy equipment into the home to place and set large boulders would have been impossible — at least without creating a heavy impact on the land. The company that installed the artificial rock created fissures, colors and cracks to make the product blend seamlessly into its natural surroundings. “It’s an art,” said Boody.
As design styles expand from the traditional Montana architecture, Montana builders like Malmquist Construction are poised to create contemporary homes for the new generation of Montana homeowners.
This home is testament to the skill required of bringing Pacific Northwest architecture to Montana. •
335 Spokane Ave
Whitefish, mt 59937