The H-House by Axis Architects, is a modern residence located high on Salt Lake City’s East Bench on Devonshire. The living spaces of the house are oriented towards the expansive views of the valley and the Great Salt Lake. This modern residence offers commanding views of the entire city and its surroundings. Extensive site research, client interaction, and space planning combined with an exhaustive design process created this successful and beautiful private home. The views and interaction between the building and the site was a key element of the program, with outdoor recreational space in the rear of the house and balcony areas on the west side.
The finished design approached each of the program elements, integrating them seamlessly into the overall built form. By designing the home to be integrated into the existing topography of the site, the final form had three overall levels. Each level houses a primary function. The lower level contains a garage and storage space, along with an entrance foyer. The main level contains all public areas of the home, including the living/dining areas and kitchen. The client specified a master bedroom on this level for convenience reasons, and it maintains a physical separation from the public areas while allowing access to the most favorable views.
These western views are central to the layout of this main level, as noted in the large exterior balcony facing the west adjacent to the living/dining area. This allows the area to be opened to the exterior to create one large gathering space. A cantilevered music room also completes this level. The upper level contains the private spaces in the home, including a study and two bedrooms. The two main forms of the house are separated by a corridor in which vertical and horizontal circulation occurs. This corridor is naturally illuminated with skylights and serves to differentiate between major areas of the residence. One of the challenges of this project was to allow for the views to the west, while protecting the house from the afternoon sun. A large overhanging shading device provides shade and gives a distinctive character to the house.
The client specified that the exterior materials were to require a minimum of maintenance. The solution lies in the use of materials such as architectural concrete, and corten steel cladding. These materials require almost no routine maintenance once installed and greatly reduce the long-term costs associated with home maintenance. In addition, these materials enhance the modern aesthetic of the house. This modern aesthetic is continued in the interior of the house with the use of modern building materials and simple, clean lines. The interior finish details of the house all reinforce the elegant aesthetic found on the exterior and together create this modern residential icon for Salt Lake City. The volumes of the house follow the slope of the terrain and reinforce the integration of the house into its environment.