PLC Residence

CompanyWard+Blake Architects
Lead Designer
ClientMitch Blake
Prize(s)3rd Place in Architecture Categories / Conceptual
Entry Description

The PLC Residence is located on top of a butte in Jackson
Hole with 300 degree view panorama. The client wanted to
capture all views and requested a house of mostly glass.
However, the client wished to offset the glass by
implementing "green principals". In addition, the house
needed privacy from the cul-de-sac ending on the client's

Rammed Earth walls and concrete floors are used as
thermal mass to offset heat loss from glazing. The concrete
floors also contain hydronic heat tubing. Large roof
overhangs help shade the triple pane high-efficiency glass in
summer and allow low sun angles to warm the rooms in
winter. Water features help temper the arid Wyoming
environment at the terraces; and a closed loop ground
source heat pump with a back-up natural gas boiler cost
effectively heats and cools for the house. Energy Recovery
Generators keep the interior air conditioned. Operable
windows provide cross ventilation from the natural breezes
that are almost always present on top of the Butte.

The architects used their newly patented post tensioned
rammed earth design to make the massive walls stable in
the high seismic zone. The earthen walls are also used as
an organizing principal to define changes in the spatial
geometry. Cedar board & batt roofs over the two upper
level pavilions are used to mimic the roof of the old barn
near the site. Horizontal 1x4 channel rustic cedar siding
combined with Alaskan yellow cedar custom windows are
both finished with "Life Time" wood treatment and intended
to weather like the old barn. The combination of Rammed
Earth, sod roofs, and naturally finished & weathered wood
make the house fit seamless into the relatively un-touched
Wyoming environment.

The result enabled the Owner's original concept to
symbiotically integrate with the site and natural


Ward + Blake Architects was built on a distinctive vision: be provocative in thought, flexible in nature, and disciplined in execution. Since 1996, Ward + Blake have been creating spaces that reference the land and the history of the region while also embracing cutting-edge construction materials and techniques. We have created a working environment where the powers of innovation, smart building and creativity flourish.

Our firm is composed of twelve trained professional people including four Licensed Architects, six Intern Architects, an Interior Designer and an Office Manager. Ward+Blake Architects is organized horizontally rather than vertically, which is to say that we realize our design work utilizing the strengths of our staff members at all phases of the project. This horizontal stratification allows the principals to be involved from schematic design through construction documents, ensuring that design goals remain in focus and project objectives are obtained.

Ward + Blake believes that architecture should respond to its particular place and be a natural partner with the environment. The firm’s designs evolve from an appreciation for pragmatic solutions within the honesty of modernism. By working within the context of our rich environment and applying sustainable strategies to a wide variety of building types and project scopes, Ward + Blake designs architecture that conserves energy and natural resources while creating high performance buildings and healthy environments for the buildings occupants.

We listen carefully to the desires, goals and program of our clients. Ward + Blake has an excellent track record averaging less than 1% change orders on our commercial and educational projects.