Due to its dramatic steep slope and trapezoidal shape, this lot was deemed undesirable. Located in the heart of Boise’s NE neighborhood with beautiful views of Table Rock and the Owyhee Mountains, challenge is moved aside and a creative endeavor is born for two Boise design professionals. Eschewing the leveling or strip-mining attitude of anti-environmental approaches, unfortunately typical in the area, this design philosophy is to use the site to define the house. Inspired by the high desert rock formations of Owyhee Desert’s Leslie’s Gulch, the house will layer or stratify to a heightened plateau above the existing tree line.
The house is layered along a single exterior stair extending from the lower driveway to the upper street, a rise of almost 45 feet. Along the stair are two separate structures notched deep into the rocky north end. Entry is from the lower southeast corner to the first structure containing the garage. Above the garage is the second layer containing an artist studio that doubles as guest quarters. Slightly above the studio level, layer three, is the main patio with leads to the children’s bedroom and game room. The stair continues to the formal entry to the public level with the living, dining, and kitchen areas. The fifth layer contains the master bedroom suite and is accessed by an internal stair. With most south facing layers accompanied by a patio or deck, the owners can occupy the transcending tiers from the outside in.
The Trout/Stevens hill house was featured in Cliffhanger/Hillside Homes by Ashley Rooney, the Idaho Stateman, myHouse magazine, The Daily Journal of Commerce, Idaho Business Review, and the Boise Journal. It also received an AIA Award of Citation.
Design Team: Steve Trout, Sally Stevens