Located on 40 acres about 1.5 hours north of Missoula, this new hunting cabin sits on a forested bench with sweeping views of the Swan Mountain Range. The design impetus for the cabin is to create the feel of a small scale European hunting lodge. At 1100 square feet, the cabin has a number of nooks and crannies for different activities and to offer separation or gathering, depending on one’s mood. Although there are only two official bedrooms, the cabin will sleep up to 12 in places like a loft, fire tower and double queen bunkbeds, for instance.
Due to the remoteness of the site, most of the furnishings will be built-in. A large stone terrace off the living room is centered on a fire pit and offers ample dining space as one enjoys the evening alpenglow on the mountains or star gazes at night. A low surrounding wall provides a subtle delineation between wild and built. From the top floor of the fire lookout tower, one can look up, down and across the Swan Valley, as well as spot a summer fire. Keeping fire potential in mind, the majority of the exterior of the house is clad in core-ten steel bent into a lap siding profile. The base of the fire tower is in large format, black stone. All interior tile is old world, hand crafted European tile by Walker Zanger.
As a design focal point, three trusses in the cabin feature a laser cut plate steel design of a stylized dancing deer. This image was found on a fully preserved woman from the Early Ice Age, as featured in a National Geographic article years ago, and has always been a favorite of the owner. Early in the construction process, the owner and excavator created a beautiful rockery along the eastern edge of the cabin from boulders unearthed during excavation. Stepped terraces provide small garden spaces for poppies and lavender. The rockery helps to “give base” and substance to the cabin as it erupts out of the hillside.
Photo credit: Gibeon Photography