2024 Homestead Magazine


Homestead Magazine


Vera Iconica Architecture

Creating experiences that enhance people’s lifestyles and wellbeing.
115 E Pearl Ave, Ste 100
PO Box 4793
Jackson, WY 83001

Vera Iconica, meaning true likeness in Latin, was founded in Jackson Hole in 2010, inspired by the idea that the firm could create a holistic design process for its clients. Most of today’s architecture focuses on the visual, pragmatic, and physical properties of spaces, or aspects of the mind and body. These aspects are essential. However, often buildings lack soul. In order to achieve balance, the spiritual and qualitative aspects must be equally considered.

Explain your approach to designing with your clients’ lifestyles and rituals in mind.

Architecture has the capability to transform daily tasks into enjoyable rituals, adding graceful experiences to our lives. Take coffee for example: You may choose to fill your insulated mug as you run out the door lost in thought, or be engaged in the aromatic process of brewing and sipping the beverage. We arrange space and material to design experiences, making lifestyle choices more convenient and satisfying. Our process requires the trust and involvement of our clients in order to design not only the spaces, but how one moves through them. This, in turn, influences their daily patterns and rituals.

What are your goals for incorporating materials and the natural world into your designs?

Ten years ago, I wrote my thesis about the ability of inanimate objects to affect our wellbeing. It was much more difficult to discuss how a space “feels” back then, but today it is easy to talk with people about intangible experiences. Additionally, Western science is beginning to study energies within a space, proving that our surrounding materials impact our mental and physiological health, and I believe our spiritual health as well. We believe a reverent approach to the landscape and orchestration of natural materials helps ground us and create balance in our lives.

Give us an idea of the range of projects Vera Iconica has worked on in this region, and some of your favorite projects.

We have worked on four continents and continue to seek international projects; however, locally we have worked on projects ranging from 400-square-foot mobile retreats to fire stations and community centers.

We incorporate an intuitive design process, which differs from a typical creative process in that we have no preconceptions of what a building “should” look like when we begin the project. Instead, we listen to our clients, and equally to the site itself. This means a retreat for a client on a ski-in/ski-out lot in the Village might be inspired by how we move with the mountain, and would look completely different from a retreat for that same client on a nearby lot bordering a creek and aspens.

Our favorite projects are those that have an adventurous, thoughtful, and graceful solution.

Define your commitment to collaboration and technological innovation in the design studio.

We believe in synergy and involving team members early in the process. We host design charrettes where our staff enjoys pinning up projects—inviting collaborators and outsiders alike—and critiquing how we can best meet a project’s vision. We use the latest building information modeling technology, which not only integrates 3-D modeling and rendering as an integral part of our process, but also provides a master, cloud-based file for simultaneous production. Our process increases collaboration and communication, while reducing discrepancies. However, it is always relationships that come first, with those contributing to the project and with our clients.