Cookhouse Park County, Montana Real Estate, America Residential Property, MT Architecture Images

Cookhouse Park County, Montana

New American Residence in the Rocky Mountains, USA, design by Fernau and Hartman Architects

Sep 27, 2019

Design: Fernau and Hartman Architects

Location: Whitefish, Rocky Mountains, northwest Montana, USA

Cookhouse Park County Montana

Photos by Richard Barnes

Cookhouse Montana

Fernau and Hartman Architects had been working on the Avis Ranch for nearly twenty years when they started to design the Cookhouse. The additions and renovations that had already been done to the historic homestead were well received locally and by the profession, so the architect were nervous about adding a new piece.

Fernau and Hartman Architects were concerned that the significantly larger scale of the new structure would compete with the Granary, which was the centerpiece of the Montana compound, a landmark visible for miles as one descends into the Brackett Creek valley. Their goal, therefore, was to build modestly and with minimal impact on the landscape of the existing ranch.

Cookhouse Park County Montana

The architects started by deciding to site the Cookhouse on the south side of, and across a small creek from, the Granary. The creek – which had become a little more than a drainage ditch – was restored and replanted with willows, dogwood, and other native riparian vegetation to provide a degree of separation from the agricultural compound and road beyond.

The Equipment Barn is located adjacent to the previously rehabilitated Granary and connects to the Cookhouse by a footbridge over the creek. We adopted a one-and-a-half-story Granary to remain the anchor of the compound. The Equipment Barn is a low shed off to the side of the compound.

Cookhouse Park County Montana Cookhouse Park County Montana

The Cookhouse’s elongated east-west axis is not only optimal for solar gain, but also ideal for views. The orientation, moreover, presents the narrow face of the building to the most intense wind and weather.

Cookhouse Park County Montana

Its second story pushes out from underneath the roof in various ways to grab light, steal a view, or expel hot air. Both floors are organized in plan along a central circulation spine. This generous central hallway with a wood-burning stove links all interior spaces and functions not only as a gallery and social space, but also as a massive air duct connecting the entire house to the thermal chimney.

Cookhouse Park County Montana

The thermal chimney punctures the roof at its ridge and keeps the house cool, even in the extreme heat of summer, making air-conditioning unnecessary. In cold months, the house is heated with a ground-source heat pump and energy-efficient wood stoves.

The low ceiling and thermal chimney help maximize thermal performance. The gable roof’s substantial overhang and wraparound porch provide ample options for working and relaxing outside, protected from the wind, rain, snow, and sun.

Cookhouse Park County Montana

Cookhouse, Park County – Building Information

Design Team: Fernau and Hartman Architects

Completion date: 2012
Building levels: 1

Cookhouse Park County Montana

Photographer: Richard Barnes

Cookhouse in Park County, Montana images / information received 270919 from Fernau and Hartman Architects

Location: Park County, Montana, USA

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