Wyoming-based architectural studio Carney Logan Burke Architects have built a family retreat for one of their architects. The Phoenix family retreat is located on the site of a log cabin that was destroyed by a forest fire. The original structure was a classic log cabin with a gable roof, constructed in the late 70’s. It was destroyed in 2013 in a human-caused fire. The family retreat is located in central Wyoming on a south facing slope within an aspen and pine forest.
From the architects, “On a site with challenging accessibility, no electricity, no water and no cellular service, the Phoenix is conceived as a folly in the landscape; a viewing platform, a fire lookout, a shady spot for a picnic, a remote crash pad for limited stays, a place to become detached, a place to commune with the landscape, a place for contemplation.
The new building is perched at the edge of the old building pad, touching the slope very lightly and creating an edge for the court where the old building stood. The ruins of the old fireplace were retained for memory, to create a vertical marker for the site, and as a gathering point around an outdoor fire.
The new building is organized in open and closed zones: the open porch enjoys access to dramatic views of the landscape framed via simple rectangular openings in the galvanized building shell. The closed zone provides shelter, a wood stove for warmth and meal preparation and storage of necessities.
Standing dead charred timber was incorporated in the structural system to connect the new building with the forest and to create a lasting reminder of the story of this place…The Phoenix has risen.”
Photography: Gibeon Photography