Altman Mine Shaft

This mountain home, set on the edge of the Gallatin River, was designed with a strong mining theme, calling upon historical influences to shape its form and materials. The verticality of the forms allows the mass to tie it into the dense mature pine forest surrounding. The home site is accessed via crossing an old military bridge that spans the Gallatin River then following a meandering drive through the forest, eventually opening up to the Altman Mineshaft compound.

The structure’s vertical emphasis is a reflection of the massive cliffs and mature pines rising from the river bed. Exterior and interior materials were comprised of a combination of historical artifacts and new materials made to look aged. The clients were strong proponents of the reusing of materials and artifacts, like the selection of an old freezer door as a front entry, a steel clinker from an old mine in south west Montana reused as a front for their living room fire place, and an old valve was placed above the master bath as the primary faucet. The exterior materials are a mix of exposed steel cladding, both flat panels and corrugated, vertical wood planking, historic timbers recycled from south west Montana, and exposed concrete. Exposed red iron and red aluminum clad windows were employed to enhance the color palette and contrast with the deep greens of the forest. The interiors are composed of a variety of woods, artifacts and steel elements, all intermixed to create a wonderful home that has many stories from beginning to end.

The spatial organization of the mineshaft home was determined by working with the site, existing vegetation and topography, and by working to establish a connection to the neighboring Gallatin River. Exterior patio spaces directly off the central Great Room, were designated around maximizing views to the river and southern exposure to the sun.

(photos by Karl Neumann)