Beauty, Designed

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The vernacular design of this guest house, encased in regionally reclaimed materials, expresses its rustic environment in an intimate setting.

ARCHITECTURE
BERLIN ARCHITECTS
BerlinArchitects.com

Story By
Tammy Christel

Photos By
David Agnello + Jim Fairchild

LET’S SPEAK OF BEAUTY. That’s what is uppermost in Jackson Hole architect Larry Berlin’s mind when it comes to good design. For 39 years he has created beautiful homes in harmony with regional tastes, designing for project sites, not against them. His grounded, sensitive designs have cemented a long and prolific career. This prominent architect’s aesthetic, above all other forms, is truly consistent with Jackson’s singular beauty.

Berlin speaks enthusiastically about his work. His passion for creating space is palpable. How does light play upon walls? How do windows—large or small—define space? Most crucial to him is solving how interiors embrace their occupants.

MY CONSTANT GOAL IS TO GIVE EACH CLIENT A WELL-DESIGNED HOME THEY LOVE, THAT MAKES THEM HAPPY FOR MANY YEARS TO COME.
~ LARRY BERLIN

“From our earliest projects, I have come from the same place: Whether it is traditional, rustic or what we refer to as modern, a beautiful house is one that reacts perfectly to the land it’s built upon,” he says. “It’s about using regional materials, suggesting environmental warmth and staying in sync with local construction methods. That’s how I feel about architecture, and how I continue to approach my projects. It’s just good design.”

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Blending the lines between indoors and outdoors, this transparent, hillside home, envisioned by design architect McLean Quinlan, nestles into the earth while embracing the valley vista.

Through the decades, he believes, core design ingredients have remained the same. Every Berlin home feels timeless, sprung from the earth it stands upon. “Technology transforms everything, and technology is what’s really changed. We began with hand drafting, moved to utilizing computers and 3-D drawings for construction and presentation. Skype, email—we use it all, but our design philosophy is our bedrock. From our first homes to the present, it’s about organizing active spaces maximizing people’s lives. And, we design warm space. That’s most important. Warmth, to me, involves a combination of drama and intimacy.”

Regionalism, imagery, character, natural light, color, positive and negative spaces, texture and geometry are all key components to designing a home Berlin deems worthy of Jackson’s beauty. “That’s really what I try to do,” he explains. “We are building homes that are complex, but straightforward. Where does the landscape meet the structure? How will we create something at once dynamic and calm? And it’s always a collaboration. With any project, we might work with interior designers, landscapers, other architects, the client, the builder—but we’re all working towards the same goal.”

Berlin plans to continue building beautiful homes that stand the test of time. “My greatest joy is knowing a family wants to stay in their home for generations,” he says with a smile. “Families grow and change, lifestyles change, the people living in the home change. My constant goal is to give each client a well-designed home they love, that makes them happy for many years to come.”

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This project balances a playful arrangement of spaces and forms within the site.