When you are fortunate enough to have one of the most breathtaking views in the country, you want to enjoy it as much as possible. That's how architect Denis Henmi's clients felt about the custom home they commissioned in Southern Utah.
The remote and challenging site, overlooking Red Rock Canyon National Park, required excavation to locate the most solid bedrock on which to build. The front of Henmi's 8,000-square-foot design is tucked into the earth, while the rear is perched on a 200-foot-high cliff.
From the road, the natural stone–covered house is unassuming, but on the canyon side, a commercial-grade window system stretches from floor to ceiling for a glass façade that provides unobstructed views from almost every room in the house.
Walls of glass in a desert setting might not seem conducive to energy conservation, but sustainability was top of mind in the design. Henmi employed proper solar orientation and used protective overhangs and sunshades to minimize heat gain from the sun during the summer. Solar panels also help to reduce energy costs. Concrete floors with radiant heat keep the interiors warm in winter and cool in summer.
Glass accents and neutral-toned wood siding and stone combine for a soothing interior that doesn't compete with the view. The $6 million home includes all the requisite features for a house of this size and value—a home theater, a two-story living/dining room, commercial-style kitchen appliances, a sauna, an elevator, and a wine cellar.
Award: PROJECT Grand for best custom home—5,000 to 10,000 square feet;
Builder: Culp Construction, Salt Lake City
Architect: Kwan Henmi Architecture/Planning, San Francisco
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Salt Lake City, UT.