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While not the intent of the homeowner and architect, this is a home created for a pandemic, meant for social distancing and lockdown.
The owners of the Boar Shoat—a family term for youthful vivacity—wanted to get away, not from a virus, but from city life, and create a place to distance themselves from social stresses, literally unplug from social media, and commune with nature and one another. And so the owners looked to the places of their childhood, and found it along a gentle natural berm, beside a stand of aspens, in some sixty acres of grassy hills, beneath the Rocky Mountains of Southern Idaho.
The home was conceived as a kind of crash pad and a base camp; three small structures—main house, guest house, and storage—flanking a large outdoor living space under a canopy that protects it from the weather. Even better, with no utility connections for miles, Boar Shoat is a self-sustaining retreat that uses passive solar for electricity and heat; the windows are positioned to harness free energy from the sun during the winter, while roof overhangs cool the home in summer. In addition, the owner wanted low- to no- maintenance building materials: the exterior is clad in metal panels suited for the harsh winters of the open range. The interior is simple, and designed to bring views and vegetation inside through expansive floor to ceiling windows. Clean white walls act as a gallery for art, and natural wood ceilings warm and soften the space; untreated concrete floors offer a durable surface, perfect for the home in the middle of nowhere. Outside, the landscape is left ruggedly wild to add to the feeling of being among nature, yet far away from everything.
Socially distant, in a good way.