Located above a meandering river and surrounded by an overall scenic landscape, the River House by Suyama Peterson Deguchi was envisioned as a serene getaway embracing natural elements: “When approached from the street, the house is very understated and minimal. Upon entering the house through the conceptual front door (gate), one finds a rich sequence of spaces, bounded by concrete and plantings. Here, the division between inside and outside first becomes blurred”. This contemporary refuge in the Rocky Mountains, USA was especially developed for a retired couple and includes a guest wing and extended outdoor living areas.

Due to the complex weather conditions, the palette of chosen materials was aimed to ensure durability: “An elongated concrete wall on the north side provides a structural backbone for the composition. All program elements were located on or below grade and under a sheltering shed roof to enhance the sense of protection in this sometimes harsh environment. Concrete was chosen as the dominant material because it aesthetically anchors the house to the site. While visually extending the interior spaces and creating outdoor rooms, the raw materiality of the concrete sets up a compositional base for the remaining wood, glass, metal and plaster finishes”, explained the architects. [Photography by Aaron Leitz]