ABOVE & BEYOND
A Wyoming home draws on its locale with breathtaking results
Perched on a flat-topped hill overlooking the Wyoming valley known as Jackson hole, Joanne and rico Zorkendorfer’s family getaway feels like an observatory. one’s gaze is constantly drawn outside, taking in epic views that forge a deep sense of connection with the natural world. The long, low house has an organic quality, made of stone and wood and sited so sensitively, Joanne says, that it ‘almost disappears into the land’.
designed by Fiona Mclean of the London architectural firm Mclean Quinlan, the house perfectly answers the Zorkendorfers’ request for a refuge. ‘The brief was for a house that felt restorative, serene and elemental,’ says Joanne, the founder of olli, a san Francisco firm that specialises in home furnishings using
robes de llengües textiles from Mallorca and otomi embroidered fabrics from Mexico.
given the couple’s roots – Joanne was born and raised in new Zealand, and rico, an industrial designer at apple, hails from Munich – Jackson hole’s attraction is obvious. ‘It reminds us of our homelands,’ Joanne says. during their first winter holiday there, in 2011, they casually looked at some properties, the most arresting of which was a log cabin that occupied an extraordinary position. It was in poor condition, but they saw the potential in replacing it with something new and original for themselves and their growing family
(they now have a young son and daughter). a few months later, it was theirs and ideas began to percolate, fuelled by historic alpine architecture.
‘I have a love affair with new Zealand’s wide-open beach houses, and rico has an affinity for chalets, so we wanted to create something that was a marriage of those two things,’ Joanne explains. It turned out that a number of their favourite houses had been created by Mclean Quinlan. ‘What was appealing to us about Fiona,’ she adds, ‘is her ability to create new buildings that feel as though they have been around a long time but are also ageless.’
Fiona was struck by the magical site and spent some quality time in the area studying what would become her creative touchstone: the JP Cunningham Cabin, an 1880s ranch house in what is now grand Teton national Park. There the rooms flank a breezeway left open on the ends so livestock could take shelter. That visit reinforced Fiona’s concept for the Zorkendorfers: a central living space bordered by expanses of glass and accessing intimate zones for dining, napping, and the like. everyone agreed that stone would be
THE southeast deck of joanne and rico zorkendorfer’s getaway at jackson Hole, wyoming, features sweeping valley views opposite page THE dining nook