MONTANA INSPIRATION: The Lure of Country Roads

As much as architecture involves skill, technology, budgets, schedules and context, it is also about inspiration. It remains the only form of art that can be inhabited. A building provides shelter; it reflects time and place, as well as the people who live in it.

Like all art, architecture is the process of creating something out of nothing. In architecture, the “nothing” is the site. Whether it be urban or bucolic, there is a void that may be graced with a building. To turn that void into a house, where people live, grow and share is a rare privilege. Done well, it can enhance the place where nothing stood before.



Where the spark of inspiration starts is hard to identify. It could be drawn from forms in the landscape glimpsed during a drive along a country road. That soft geometry of line and grass, light and shadow, triangle and mass. It starts there, where a trained eye can envision a site for a foundation to ground a building and blend its presence with nature’s reticence.

The place can determine material, whether that is quarried stone from the hillsides or reclaimed wood from structures that dot the fields, with materials then integrated into the design. People affect the living spaces, the volume, the flow. Even deeper, a site shapes the technical applications for a foundation depending on slope, soil, wind, water and even geological activity. The unseen strength of steel, concrete and timber merge and reinforce every aspect of a building.




It’s a synergistic process that starts with the imagination. The architect’s creativity combines with a keen ability to articulate a place, a desire, a design, a necessity. Then the craftspeople bring experience and well-honed skills to construct the vision, applying building blocks that form and stack and forge a livable shelter.




All this from the curve of a country road.


ABOUT JLF ARCHITECTS: Building timeless structures rooted in integrity and simple elegance, Jackson Hole, Park City and Bozeman-based JLF Architects applies distinctive solutions and materials to create place-based houses marked by the influences of landscapes from the Rocky Mountains to the Eastern Seaboard. Their award-winning perspective is powered by inspired design and an exacting eye for placement, an ethos that stems from a unity of nature, beauty, balance and imagination. JLF Architects has established a genuine alliance with Big-D Signature, built over 17 years of working together, to create a streamlined design-build process that benefits clients. Winners of Mountain Living magazine’s 2016 Home of the Year, the JLF Architects and Big-D Signature design-build team unites passionate architects with dedicated builders to enable the collective imagination of visionary artisans working with visionary clients. For more information visit www.JLFArchitects.com.

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