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Magnificent nature-inspired modern retreat in the Flathead Valley

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This magnificent modern retreat designed by Cushing Terrell is sited on a remote property in the Flathead Valley, high on a bluff at the confluence of two rivers near Whitefish, Montana. Nestled on ten acres, the Confluence House is a fly fisherman’s dream. Efficient design (no hallways) and thoughtful siting make this a seamless addition to the natural setting. 

Conceived as a getaway for family and friends, the home’s design is derived and influenced by the geophysics of the surrounding landscape, becoming a seamless addition to the natural environment, rather than an interruption. Views from the toe of the bluff toward the river basin are lush and dynamic, while the distant mountains form a dramatic Montana backdrop.

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Products/Materials:

  • Sierra Pacific Windows (windows)
  • Montana Rockworks (rock)
  • LG Viatera (solid surface countertops)
  • Town & Country Luxury Fireplaces (fireplaces)
  • Glacier Steel (standing seam metal roof)

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Composed of three structures in a loose triangular form—the main house, guest house, and utility structure—the two living volumes (2,282-square-foot main house and 946-square-foot guest house) are aligned with the two converging river bluffs. The utility structure (garage and woodshop) forms the third leg of the triangle and screens the house from the access road. Together, the three legs form a protected central courtyard.

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The flat-roofed living structures allow the complex to disappear into the horizon line. The main house, aligned with the west bluff, holds all the usual living spaces plus a study, piano room, large mudroom and pantry, and well-appointed master suite. In a model of efficient space planning, there are no hallways. The guest house is separated from the main house to provide privacy.

modern-home-patio

Connected via a covered porch, and aligned with the east bluff, the guest house contains two suites that can be combined to create a family-style suite, as well as a second study/exercise room. The covered porch between the house and guest house features a wall-mounted TV for outdoor movies.

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The utility structure, reminiscent of old railway maintenance sheds in the region, serves to screen the house and courtyard from the access road. It’s topped with an expansive solar PV system. The breezeway between the garage and shop ceremonially brings guests into the courtyard, which is planted with native, drought-tolerant vegetation, mirroring the landscape around it.

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A stream bed flows through the courtyard, collecting rainwater that pours onto it from scuppers on the roof. Strategically sited boulders, and plantings of grasses and such perennials as Alberta penstemon and wild bergamot, meld with the surrounding ecosystem.

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Exterior building materials are tough to match the local climate and feature dark-stained locally sourced wood and stone, and a metal roof. Large, floor-to-ceiling, energy-efficient windows provide dramatic views of mountains, rivers, and the valley.

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Inside this magnificent modern retreat, polished, exposed-aggregate concrete floors subtly recall the gravel beds of the nearby rivers while whitewashed Douglas fir ceilings suggest the soft, natural tones of weathered wood. Furnishings are comfortable yet durable and contribute to a carefree environment.

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What We Love: This magnificent modern retreat showcases expansive walls of glass to bring in natural light while enhancing views of the tranquil setting. Clean lines and minimal details help to keep the focus on the tranquil setting surrounding this home. We are especially loving the eco-friendly initiatives that went into the design of this home such as the use of solar, rainwater harvesting, and energy-efficient windows.

Tell Us: What do you like most about the design of this home and are there any details that you would change? Let us know in the Comments below!

Note: Have a look at a couple of other fabulous home tours that we have featured here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of the architects of this project, Cushing Turrell: Wyoming farmhouse offers an exquisite mix of antiques and vintage pieces and Compact mountain home in Montana boasts sustainable features.

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Cushing Terrell Design Team:

  • David Koel, Principal
  • Fran Quiram, PM/Architect
  • Wes Baumgartner, Landscape Architect
  • Carl Maehl, Lighting Designer
  • Gerry Nichols-Pagel, Mechanical Engineer
  • Carl Maehl, Electrical Engineer
  • David Koel, Interior designer
  • Fran Quiram, Interior designer

Consultant Team:

  • Cushing Terrell (Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineering, Lighting Design)
  • Martel Construction (Contractor)
  • TD&H (Civil Engineer)
  • Beaudette Consulting Engineering (Structural Engineer)
  • CMG (Geotechnical Engineer)

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Photos: Karl Neumann

One Kindesign has received this project from our submissions page. If you have a project you would like to submit, please visit our submit your work page for consideration! 

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modern-home-site-plan

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