On my trip to Mount Olympus, I saw suggestions of St. George. If you are thinking about St. George leisurely spending time drinking nectar with Jupiter, Apollo, Diana and the like, I have been misleading. Mount Olympus is the mountainous part of Salt Lake County’s newest city, Millcreek. The St. George influence is from the resort city in southern Utah that often calls to many of us northerners in the middle of winter.
Markay Johnson Construction, a frequent collaborator with McQuay Architects (St. George), again teamed together to design and build a home that displays its desert roots in the many areas for living outside, and in how materials and forms connect the indoors and outdoors.
The home seems especially well sited on the sloping lot along one of Mount Olympus’s narrow winding streets that fill with friendly neighbors walking dogs and pushing strollers as the sun goes down. The distance, stonewalls and careful fenestration maintain the home’s privacy from the street.
The entry court has a curved pattern in a darker hue of concrete that leads to the pivot door with a similar pattern in the wood. The tower form to the right somewhat echoes the towers in the stone ruins found throughout the desert.
Inside, the open floor plan is shaped by stonewalls that break through to the outside patios. The rich wood of the soffits lowers the scale in the living and dining areas.
A similar triangular ceiling form reiterates the shape of the triangular kitchen island. The copper accents work with the wood of the cabinets and floors to create warm tones.
Rob McQuay’s desert architecture will often feature the extension of forms like the wooden soffit over the dining table leading to the seating by the outdoor firepit. It seems to say “this outside portion is part of the home, too.”
Temperatures were perfect for opening the disappearing glass doors to let in the evening breezes. With the openings to the patios, the open floor plan, and the comfortable distances between the functional areas, it is a home designed for easily entertaining a large group. And who wouldn’t want to be invited to sit out and watch the lights of the city as the sun sets? Maybe with a glass of nectar, there on Mount Olympus, with the rest of the luminaries.
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