When Bob and Diane Kobb and their three children decided they wanted a vacation home far from the Adirondacks where they live year-round, they looked out West. Their quest ended in Park City, UT, known not only for its world-class skiing but also for its hiking, fishing and summer festivals.
It was just the change of scenery for the four seasons that they craved. The fact that an international airport was less than an hour from their front door clinched their choice.
With the location locked in, the couple started hunting for a home site. They found what they wanted in a lot next to one of the spectacular ski slopes at Deer Valley Resort. The site was nestled in the pines and offered ski-in, ski-out access, as well as breathtaking views of the Wasatch Mountains.
The family returned to their East Coast home with great visions of the home they would build. They contacted Randall Stofft, the architect who had designed their previous home, and together they set ideas on paper.
Their first design called for a traditionally framed structure with huge windows to take in the views. "It wasn't until we later returned to UT that the idea of building a log home materialized," Randall recalls. During that visit, he and the Kobbs saw a log home that looked perfect in UT's majestic mountain setting. So, Randall says, "We switched gears, knowing that logs were fitting for the site and for this young, very active family."
A Great Camp Look
Bob and Diane discussed their plans with a number of log home manufacturers and finally decided the right one for their project was Alpine Log Homes, a handcrafted company in Victor, Montana. "We felt they had the experience to build a large structure with the huge windows Randy had designed," says Bob. Alpine's design and engineering staff worked with Randall to modify his design for log construction, and they developed the working drawings from which the structure would be crafted.
In the meantime, Bob and Diane began gathering ideas for the home's overall look. They decided to go with the rustic decorative form common to the Great Camps of the Adirondacks. The couple worked with Park City interior designer David Krajeski to fine-tune the look.
"The grand staircase was David's idea. The original plans called for two sets of stairs, but David's understanding of the large scale of log homes led him to create a single, sweeping one," Bob says. The staircase features ornate twig and log railings mixed with stone steps.
This log, twig and stone combination occurs throughout the home, inside and out, thanks to the time-consuming work of general contractor Charlie Wintzer and his crew. Outside, there is a stone terrace rather than a wood deck. All around, slabs of local sandstone face the fireplace hearth, cover the entry and some floors, and form the grotto shower in the master suite.
The home also features a wealth of newly crafted details that look as if they came from the hands of a by-gone craftsman. There are log railings on the balconies, designed in a series of diamond and herringbone patterns; an elaborate front door surround; wrought-iron light fixtures; as well as Alpine's hand-peeled logs, supporting purlins, beams and trusses.
Twig and log details are evident in every room. The entry staircase sets the tone, and around every corner other unique intricacies surprise. In the living room, a woodland coffee table is sheathed in birch bark and detailed with unpeeled cedar branches, a method associated with Adirondack craftsmen. Behind the sofa is a classic table, handmade of small cedar logs, twisted branches and caning. As in the Great Camps, ironwork on the beams in the home is both functional and decorative.
In the kitchen, cabinet doors and counter edges are framed with saplings. Branch-work supports shelves that encircle the room above the windows. A lacy combination of willow, dried wildflowers and leaves adorn the ceiling. To complement the style, Bob and Diane chose "Woodland" dinnerware.
In the master bedroom, camp blankets, bark-and-willow cabinets, log and leather fill the space with rustic charm. The striking cabinets are a focal point, neatly hiding the room's electronic equipment.
The master bath features a nook, or "grotto," that is framed by log corners on either side and topped with a truss. The bathtub and its surround are made of stone. A waterfall shower cascades from high on the wall. The waterfall is, of course, a children's delight.
Across a "bridge," a separate wing houses the three children's bedrooms. Each room has plenty of storage, with floor-to-ceiling built-ins.
The lower level of the home is designed to offer privacy to the Kobbs' frequent guests. There is a gathering room and three guest bedrooms with private baths. Guests can open an exterior door, step into their skis and slip down the perfectly groomed slopes Deer Valley is known for.
The Kobbs' UT mountain home is a reflection of architecture compatible with its environment, is extraordinary in its design and inherent in our country's history.
|For resource information, see the April 2003 issue of Log Home Living.
Alpine Log Homes photos by Dann Coffey