Our history

The first guilds were organized in the Early Middle Ages. By 1400, craftsmen all across Europe formed guilds to promote their common interests. It’s hard to imagine a time when things were made by hand, built by craftsmen who truly cared about their work, a time when architects, builders, and artists worked side by side on the site for decades, even centuries. JLF Design Build shares that undying collective artistic spirit.

The history of the firm can be traced back to 1979, to a log farmhouse on the banks of the Yellowstone River where Paul Bertelli joined forces with Jonathan L. Foote. The houses they designed included salvaged 100-year old, hand-hewn barn timbers, weathered siding, and century-old recycled floorboards. They blended into the Montana landscape as if they had stood in the same spots for more than a century.

Upon Jon Foote’s retirement, the fundamental principles of the firm’s new partners remained the same; honesty in materials and respect for regional context, scale, comfort, and simplicity. Now JLF & Associates, the firm has broadened the palette of designs and materials, expanding from log and timber to a combination of wood, stone, glass, and steel while maintaining the simplicity of materials. Although the firm built its reputation in the Rocky Mountain West, its designs now extend from coast to coast, inspired by every region’s unique environment.

"JLF Design Build is all about quality above all else, When I think of a JLF product, I first think of a structure that will stand the test of time. Our buildings will still be here in 100 years. We’re not motivated by our competition but by what we know is right. That, is what gives us our soul."