Panoramic & Immersive Views for Homeowners in Big Sky, Montana
by Heather West, owner, Heather West PR
For outdoor enthusiasts Bob and Pam Norton, the town of Big Sky, Montana, was a natural choice for the location of their second home. Having purchased a remote lot in the Rocky Mountains with panoramic views, they envisioned a private, year-round retreat that integrated with the terrain. “We wanted to live in the view,” said Norton. “We wanted the outdoors to come in.”
The residence is cleverly named Mountain Peek because of the natural landscape and views of Lone Peak, Pioneer Mountain, and Cedar Mountain. Designed with ski-in, ski-out access, Mountain Peek spans out horizontally with varied elevations and roof heights to allow for views from every space. An example of evolving architectural design styles, the modern mountain home features large expanses of glass that lend lightness and openness to the home.
Kolbe® Windows & Doors’ VistaLuxe® Collection rectangular and geometric direct sets create a two-story wall of glass in the main entrance to the home. A TerraSpan® lift-and-slide 90º inverted corner unit opens up two sides of the living room to expand the interior to a spacious deck outside. “We can just open up the doors, and it’s another room,” said Norton. “I love the fact that we have doors that fold up and bring the entire outside space in. When you walk in and look at the mountains, the beauty is overwhelming.”
Panoramic vistas and passing wildlife can be enjoyed from many spaces in the home, as if each room were part of the landscape itself. The dining area is surrounded by glass on two sides for full immersion in the view. The master bedroom offers picturesque views of Lone Peak through VistaLuxe Collection crank-out casements and awnings, and an outswing door with a sidelite. The master bath features a corner direct set with crank-out casements and geometric windows stacked above to allow the homeowners to soak in the surrounding scenery.
To help carry out their vision, the Nortons assembled architect Jamie Daugaard of Centre Sky Architecture, Big Sky; builder John Seelye of Big Sky Build, Big Sky; and interior designers Kelly Lovell and Ashley Sanford of Clean Line Consulting, Bozeman, Montana. The collaborative group worked together to create a home that felt intimate and inviting while showcasing grand, awe-inspiring views. “From the very beginning, everybody was involved in the project, which led to a really seamless execution,” said Norton. “Everybody had input from the get-go.”
Daugaard explained, “When you purchase a site like this with those view corridors, you know already where each room should go and how they should interact with the lot.” He continued, “Stone, timber, heaviness, and masculinity were definitely very big a few years ago, but now it’s becoming more feminine, intricate, and delicate as far as architecture.”
Rustic, modern, and wild at its core, this residence represents the architectural style that is popular in the region. Stone, glass, wood, and steel are prominent inside and out, with a non-glare natural material palette to soften the interior. Some unique details that connect the home to the land and its history are a stone in the shape of Montana adorning the entrance wall, and embedded fossils in the adjacent stonework. A hand-crafted custom hood over the stove, a textured marble countertop, a patinated steel elevator, and reclaimed wood throughout add richness and texture to the design. “For a home in the mountains, it has to have a certain presence because all that’s around it is so incredible and majestic,” said Sanford.
To provide year-round accommodations for family and friends, the Nortons created a bunk room and provided a convenient elevator for easy access to the third floor. For the ultimate connection to the outdoors, a ski room with boot dryers and lockers enables ski-in, ski-out access to the slopes in winter. “We definitely designed the home with family in mind, hoping that our grandkids and grown children would come and enjoy all different seasons,” said the couple.
The mountainous landscape presented both the challenge and the reward, as the completed home offers quiet seclusion with a front-row view of passing wildlife. Building challenges, such as site access, rugged terrain, weather conditions, and wind and snow considerations, added to the complexity of the project. “Logistically, these are difficult places to build,” said Seelye. “It’s a hard place to get to. The weather is demanding and often puts a halt on construction.”
The cohesive vision shared by the team led to a unified space that creatively blends natural elements both inside and out. “To have a good start and a really strong ending, you need the four components of an owner, architect, general contractor, and interior designer,” said Daugaard. “If those components can be integrated, especially in the early parts of the design, it makes for a very strong design at the end.”