STEEL RANGE: Tiny Home
Updated: Nov 13, 2018
A tiny home adrift on the sagebrush sea, Steel Range is a modern loft studio that brings a touch of brutalist architecture to the Wyoming wilderness.
About an hour's drive south of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, sits a 2.5 acre plot of land. The home of Steel Range. Purchased in 2014, the land bore nothing but a blanket of dense sagebrush, it's tight-twisting roots buried deep in the dry red clay. Our vision for the blank slate was an escape to the edge of civilization. This materialized into a studio cabin inspired by the minimalist design of the Japanese Muji Hut.
The Green River snakes around to the north of the property while the Wind River and Wyoming mountain ranges flank the east and west, respectively. The area is no stranger to roaming wildlife. Steel Range sits along the Pronghorn Wildlife Corridor, the nation's first federally designated migration path that runs between the Grand Teton National Park and Pinedale.
The exterior structure is clad in weathering steel, unfinished to allow for natural rusting over time. Summer showers spray varying arrays of orange-red-brown, and leave behind the lingering smell of an oncoming nose bleed. The thin steel sheets flatten and bend through the heat of the day. Where in silicon valley we ask Alexa what the temperature is outside, at Steel Range we listen for the pop and groan that says, "the sun is out, it's pleasantly warm today."
These posters were destined for Steel Range before we had the slightest inkling of what kind of structure we were going to design. Their message laid the foundation for our purpose out in the Wyoming wilderness, "Defend Our Frontier. Protect The Forest. Experience The Wild."
The interior boasts a *spacious* 360 square feet on the ground floor and a 108-square foot bedroom loft. To minimize clutter and maximize the visual sight lines, we maintained a simple and light materials palette and added just about as many windows as we could fit into the walls.
We were lucky to find an incredible contractor to build Steel Range. Tim Vrska of Cora, Wyoming, transformed our vision into everything we dreamed and more. He helped shape the layout of the house (the loft was his idea) and swiftly handled major construction snags as they arose (septic system swap after several failed percolation tests). His craftsmanship shines in every careful detail.
While we love experiencing the wild Wyoming outdoors, we also love coming home to our full-size jacuzzi tub.
For now, we split our time between our west coast residence and our Wyoming retreat. While there is still much to be done at Steel Range (next Spring = landscaping!), we are delighted to have this dream materialized.