salt gulch ranch

Remote, surrounded by public lands, and subject to the extreme aridity and temperature swings of the high mesa desert; fire resistance, energy efficiency, and water conservation were in sharp focus for this project. In collaboration with the client, a French Master Craftsman of Ornamental Ironwork, Anik Pearson Architect focused on non-combustible materials for the exterior envelope while incorporating the creativity and skill of the owner himself. The building, framed in steel, is clad in stucco and an interlocking copper roof that allows for expansion and contraction under extreme temperature changes. Steel louvers on the façade filter light and shade the covered breezeway connecting the main and guest house, while sturdy eaves protect the path against heavy snowfall in winter. Natural patinas on the metals provide a protective covering to prevent decay from corrosion or weathering. In summer, essential shading from the oversized cantilevered eaves and natural ventilation via a solar chimney provide passive cooling. In winter, the concrete floor system absorbs sunlight allowed in through expansive southern-facing windows, providing the mass required to achieve passive solar heating, thereby saving energy. The breezeway’s curved roof terminates at its apex into a skylight, which filters natural light into the kitchen, located at the core of the main house and away from windows. The water recaptured from snowmelt feeds a vegetable garden and orchard full of fruit trees. The overflow from a water-collecting basin feeds ancient slow-growing juniper and pinyon trees on the site.

Anik worked with the owners to develop the home’s color palette, which was inspired by stones found on the property, recollecting the site’s unique mineral geology into every aspect of the interior. The character of the environment, with its harsh and extreme beauty, is reflected in the finishes, materiality, and commitment to sustainability and longevity. The building has become a site-specific and collaborative work of art that has sparked responsible construction in neighboring properties.

After completing a house renovation and addition for the same clients in Watermill NY, Anik Pearson Architect worked on a house concept for their 10-acre property on the Boulder Mesa and designed alterations to their house in Jacksonville, Oregon.

salt gulch ranch

  • Architecture and Interior Design by Anik Pearson
  • Photography by Annie Schlechter
  • Styling by Malou Humbert
  • Featured in House Beautiful