Peter Zimmerman Architects, of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, wins a 2018 Palladio Award for the design and construction of a log cabin in Wyoming.
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2018 Palladio Awards
New Design & Construction, less than 5,000 sq. ft.

Project: New House -- Jackson, WY
Winner: Peter Zimmerman Architects

New log cabin, Peter Zimmerman Architects

Houses are meant to grow with the families who live in them and give them life. New members mean new additions. But how do you design a traditional-style house that expands and contracts time after time without so much as changing its footprint?

Peter Zimmerman, AIA, NCARB, of Peter Zimmerman Architects, created a little cabin in the woods that works just as well when there’s a full house—the owners have three grown children—as it does when only the couple are in residence.

log cabin kitchen, Peter Zimmerman Architects

The house, set on 10 acres of woods close to the Snake River and Fish Creek in Jackson, Wyoming, was inspired by the architecture of the great outdoors. “When I toured the property, which had never had a house on it, I felt like I was on the site of an old homesteader’s,” Zimmerman says. “The rest of the houses in the area are log cabins. They are big in scale, but the owners wanted something more intimate.”

Their ideas were in sync with conservation easement restrictions that limited the size of the cabin to 4,000 square feet and 25 feet in height. Made of small logs salvaged from old barns plus reclaimed lodge-pole pines, the cabin is sited to take in the views of Jackson Hole and the Grand Teton. The top of its charming stone chimney is crenelated to mimic the mountain peaks in the landscape.

log cabin great room

Zimmerman re-routed a stream so it passes closer to the home. “If the house had belonged to an old homesteader, it would have been built near water,” he says. “We padded the bottom with rocks and added little waterfalls so you can hear it babbling when you’re inside.”

The house, which has the feeling of a one-story structure, gets its second-floor footing from dormers. The owners live on the first floor, which contains the master bedroom suite, sitting room, living room, family dining area, kitchen and a den/study. The second floor houses three bedrooms and a bunk room for their children and significant others.

“The site slopes in front,” Zimmerman says. “We didn’t want it to look as though we leveled the ground, so we sculpted it into the landscape.”

log cabin stone hearth

Key Products, Materials & Suppliers 

Project Architect: Sean Narcum, principal, Peter Zimmerman Architects, Berwyn, Pennsylvania
General Contractor: Yellowstone Traditions (Harry Howard, Tim Blazina and Charles Bunney), Bozeman, Montana
Interior Designer: Peace Design (Bill Peace and Hillary Mancini), Atlanta, Georgia