Weathered barn wood was recycled to build this new Wyoming guesthouse.

JLF Architects celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2019, honoring four decades of creating timeless, legacy homes and pioneering the art of masterfully incorporating reclaimed materials into contemporary residential projects.

Before “sustainable architecture” was popular, JLF Architects integrated reclaimed and recycled materials into its buildings. Over the past four decades, we have taken the simple concept of reusing antique materials to another level. The intention isn’t just to recreate the past by recycling old wood and stone; instead, each JLF design reimagines those materials as a contemporary form.

Reclaimed hand-hewn beams were repurposed as a door frame in this Kentucky residence. Stones from dilapidated regional structures were gathered and restacked throughout the home in the new form. 

“For 40 years we have been pioneers in using recycled components in our buildings,” reflects design principal and president Paul Bertelli. “We have always believed in sustainability—we believe that the most sustainable thing we can do as architects and builders is to construct houses that last a century or more. We make them with materials that mature, get better with age and require very little maintenance. They are rigorously engineered and extraordinarily structured to be robust and durable so they are ultimately timeless, not trendy.”

Combining restacked Montana stone and reclaimed bricks creates an element of patina that pays homages to a bygone era.

Evolving from cabins to contemporary architecture, the firm honors regional materials and the natural landscape while integrating them with technology, modern elements of steel and glass, and current design movements.

“Our design-build approach has allowed our team to look at the design of each structure holistically to create continuity and quality within architecture,” explains principal Logan Leachman.

Growing from two founders to a team of 25, plus innumerable artisans, woodworkers, stone masons and blacksmiths, JLF has endured as a versatile force within the Design-Build sector. Today partners Ashley Sullivan, John Lauman, Jake Scott and Travis Growney, in addition to Bertelli and Leachman, are all successors to the now-retired Jonathan Foote. Weathering decades of come-and-go design trends, quality of materials, technology and economic swings, JLF remains stalwart as a firm producing custom homes that are authentic, personal and refined. Our award-winning work dots the landscape of the United States from the Pacific oceanfront to the western frontier to the Hudson River.

A rustic home was sensitively designed to preserve an ancient stand of aspen trees on the building site.

Just like that first cabin, we reclaimed, restacked and rebuilt into a new home, every JLF Architects Design-Build product remains a structure that will stand the test of time. Our buildings will still be here in 100 years, and our firm hopes to be here, too.

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