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enjoy the views from the canyon house retreat

Tucked into the side of a ravine 300 feet above the Clearwater River, “The Canyon House” is a year-round retreat designed by Paul Hirzel.

enjoy the views from the canyon house retreat | @meccinteriors | design bites
The owners set aside set aside around 2000-square-feet of land (185.80-square-meters) for the project.

Situated on 40 acres of land on the southern side of the canyon, the owners hoped the retreat would “cultivate the spiritual aspects in the trinity of human, fish, and river.”

enjoy the views from the canyon house retreat | @meccinteriors | design bites
Following a finger ridge 300 feet above the Clearwater River, a simple rectangular box is inserted in a moment resisting wood frame.

Rather than one large home, it was decided to create two small timber-framed and steel-clad structures that step down the side of the canyon–the Studio House (shown above) and the Bunkhouse. According to Hirzel, the Bunkhouse is more about seeking refuge. The Studio House embraces its exposure.

Studio House

enjoy the views from the canyon house retreat | @meccinteriors | design bites
Clerestory windows take advantage of the sloped roof and provide plenty of natural light.

The Studio House sits at a higher elevation and is more exposed to the elements.

enjoy the views from the canyon house retreat | @meccinteriors | design bites
The views look down through the valley, capturing the river and surrounding woodlands.

It includes multiple walk-outs to large outdoor living spaces, making the compact interior feel much more spacious.

enjoy the views from the canyon house retreat | @meccinteriors | design bites
The interior finishes are simple and minimal in the multi-level open plan.

In consideration of passive cooling, the strategically placed operable windows promote updraft ventilation. This keeps the interior comfortable when temperatures soar in the Summer.

Bunkhouse

enjoy the views from the canyon house retreat | @meccinteriors | design bites
The Bunkhouse is a more secluded, sheltered dwelling.

More secluded and sheltered, the Bunkhouse sits closer to the base of the ravine. It has smaller, intentionally placed windows that capture very specific views.

Architectural Drawings

enjoy the views from the canyon house retreat | @meccinteriors | design bites
The Canyon House: Studio House

enjoy the views from the canyon house retreat | @meccinteriors | design bites

enjoy the views from the canyon house retreat | @meccinteriors | design bites

All images and architectural drawings © Paul Hirzel.

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