The owners of this home purchased a sloping pie shaped lot with access from above. There are nice views of downtown Great Falls and the Missouri river to the East. Capturing these views was a priority. Also, this open hillside lot is exposed to the prairie wind which can make decks and outdoor spaces uninviting. Creating some protected outdoor space for the family became an added goal for the design.
The lot is wide enough to exploration layout options. One option is to build a simple square in the center of the lot. Another is to build a longer L shape. Most of the homes in the area follow these models. But they do not help create compelling or well protected outdoor spaces. The option chosen and shown below was to split the house into a bedroom wing and living wing creating a central protected outdoor space between them. An outdoor deck, lower level terrace and a grove of Aspen trees now occupy this protected spot. The Aspen grove softens the deck areas and mimics the sheltered canyons in eastern Montana.
The home works well with the site, provides wonderful views to the river, and fits nicely with the local environment. At the same time it has a strong presence. The central outdoor space becomes the heart of the home during the spring summer and fall with barbecue, chairs, table and benches. The coppery color of the exterior blends well with the dry summer grasses.