This 5,500 SF home is sited at the edge of downtown with spectacular panoramic views overlooking Salt Lake City. The passive design takes full advantage of the solar path and captures dramatic views including the Wasatch mountain range to the east, and valley and urban views to the south and west, with city lights creating a sparkling horizontal field below at night. The semi-urban neighborhood was developed in the early 1970s. This contemporary home mimics the scale of the neighborhood with an all-limestone façade. There are zero openings on the east and west façades with a singular, vertically-louvered opening on the north for the entry of the home. This placement allowed the south of the home to be composed almost entirely glass oriented toward the primary views. A thorough historical analysis was conducted of the greater Salt Lake City context. Being one of the oldest cities in the Western United States, Salt Lake City is comprised of multiple architectural styles that were essentially borrowed from the East Coast as period pieces. While it was important to respect the scale and rhythm of the street, the architects took inspiration from Salt Lake City and the West not being subject to any particular style or period, which led to developing the minimalist form. Cost is withheld at the Owner's request. The home’s interior was designed by the architects and lighting designer to celebrate these views with a material palette of stone, wood and bronze. These interiors include an international photography collection, a glimpse of which can been seen from the street. Passing through the screened entry, Atta Kim’s image of Fifth Avenue greets the arriving visitor, who is also welcomed by a bubbling water feature framed above by a dramatic oval oculus. The client utilized vintage feature light fixtures that have been passed down by their family for generations. These included primary bedroom sconces, a powder room sconce and the dining room chandelier. The home is equipped with Wolf appliances (cooktop, hood, wall ovens) and a 42” Sub-Zero built-in French door refrigerator / freezer. The design team explored ideas of western mountain architecture as well as its materiality, proportions and form. The foundation of the home emerges from its steeply-sloped site with a textural, board-formed concrete plinth with exaggerated joints incorporated to create coarse vertical fins. The street elevation is a refined minimalist form detached from its textural foundation through a 12” recessed reveal detail that makes the home appear to float above the site. The main level volume is clad with shop-fabricated, large-format natural limestone panels hung with a clip system on a framework. A recycled, aluminum-clad, dual-purpose wood floor sheathing system was used to accommodate both the energy-efficient radiant floor heating system and structural shear. These innovative building technologies significantly decreased dead load design requirements, allowing for simple framing methodologies, conserved cost, and helped minimize construction waste. A continuous overhang along the south façade for the main and lower levels provides protection from the summer sun and allows the winter sun to warm the space. All primary spaces are oriented along the view corridor to the south allowing the east and west facades to contain no openings, thereby creating an uninterrupted high-efficiency wall assembly (R-35) to protect against the western sun. A continuous vegetated strip is incorporated between the home and patio to create a passive cooling thermal barrier at the exterior envelope. Working closely with the landscape architect, the team designed all rain water to be collected and distributed to the landscaping through a bespoke catchment and infiltration system. The project incorporates a robust 11KW solar panel array on the roof to power the home. The home was designed to meet LEED-H sustainability standards and maximizes passive design strategies. The program for the home was organized around two essential principles: a focus on accessibility so the clients are able to age in place; and flexibility, with ample, private spaces to accommodate their families. Universal design and planning allow the house to adapt over time for future generations. The home incorporates an elevator as well as accessible circulation paths, lighting and acoustical cues. The program includes family suites, living and entertaining spaces, kitchen and dining spaces, an office, pool, spa and gardens.
Sparano + Mooney Architecture is a leading, full-service architectural and design firm with offices in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. We are committed to offering sustainable, contemporary architecture to clients throughout the American West who care deeply about design.
The practice has grown steadily since its inception in 1997 through the process of rigorous critical thinking and the completion of a wide range of architectural solutions. Our carefully-crafted work catalyzes the idiosyncrasies of each project to create a concept-driven design in the pursuit of architecture true to its time, place and circumstances. The firm’s ethos is one of limitless exploration and an unwavering commitment to the heuristic process in creating architecture rooted firmly in meaning. With each project the practice examines new ways to harmonize a regulating concept with the existing conditions of a site, program and fundamental building functions.