Photography by Douglas Burke
FEATURED PHOTO: Sunset Ranch sits on more than 100 private acres in the Wasatch Range—25 minutes away from all the offerings of Park City while still being secluded.
The commercial kitchen is an entertainer’s dream.
Located 45 miles outside Salt Lake City and 25 minutes from the resort community of Park City, Sunset Ranch is nestled atop a 113-acre parcel perched above the Kamas Valley, which is dotted with diverse mountain foliage, including craggy scrub oaks. The home, which has views of the Wasatch Range’s Mount Timpanogos (Timp if you’re a local), overlooks the charming town of Oakley, famous for the PRCA-sanctioned rodeo that has delighted fans on Fourth of July weekend for 85 years.
Dubbe Moulder Architects (DMA) was the prime architect on the project and collaborated with architect Mark Rios on the design of the main house. The team spent a tremendous amount of time on the property identifying the perfect location for the main house and heated horse barn with a guest apartment, ultimately positioning the main cabin on a linear orientation along the edge of a hill to maximize views while respecting the established landscape. The horse barn and guest apartment sit just below and reflect the same rustic aesthetic applied to the main house.
The window frames in the dining room offer context and scale to the incredible views.
“One of the most exciting aspects of the beginning of any project is spending time on the property, enjoying the sights, the smells, the prevailing winds coming up from the valley, and how the sun passes across the site,” Kurt Dubbe, AIA, Principal & Founder at DMA, says. “It’s one of the most inspirational aspects of any project, and we certainly did that to brainstorm the ideas that this design reflects.”
The texture-filled living room, with the mezzanine level above, is organized around the stone inglenook and framed with reclaimed timbers and barnwood.
The team leaned into the area’s historic precedent to inform the refined barn-like design of the main house, which is full of texture and features native elements such as: a corrugated metal roof evocative of Utah’s rich mining history; locally quarried Rocky Mountain Quartzite; reclaimed, hand-hewn timbers from numerous sources in the West and Midwest; reclaimed wide-plank white oak flooring; and local reclaimed barnwood. An open-air silo—complete with a hot tub for stargazing—anchors one end of the home. Another interesting feature is the loggia, a covered porch crafted in the Italian renaissance architectural style, which looks out over the courtyard and the wooded setting.
Dubbe says the one-of-a-kind nature of the building materials, while stunning, created a unique challenge for the builder. “It’s not like very predictably dimensional new-milled material that is pretty consistent,” he says. “Each piece—whether it’s the flooring or the timber posts or the overhead beams – has unique dimensions, so there’s a lot of fitting and hand work involved. I cannot applaud the contractor, Steve Morgan, and his team enough.”
The layout provides areas of sanctuary and privacy without separating the spaces, as demonstrated by this inviting media room.
That attention to detail was evident to the current owners, who purchased the property in 2017 from the couple who built the home. “You could tell that every little piece fits right where it needs to go,” the owner praises. “It’s all so unique; it’s spectacular.”
The main house, which features whimsical décor that was thoughtfully curated without being too strict or formal, has four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The grand, two-story living room with soaring ceilings is anchored by massive stonework based upon a traditional inglenook (an old English term meaning fireplace nook). The low ceilings and cozy seating around the fireplace are an invitation to warm up after a day of playing in the snow. A hidden staircase wraps behind the fireplace leading to the mezzanine level where the guest bedrooms and an office are located.
The junior primary suite is one of three guest rooms in the main house.
At the back of the great room, a step-down den, moving with the topography of the site, offers an intimate breakout room with its own fireplace and a lower ceiling. The opulent primary bedroom wing features a luxurious en suite, spacious his-and-her closets, a freestanding bathtub, and a circular staircase leading to the hot tub at the top of the silo. In the dining room, which is positioned off the well-equipped commercial kitchen, wraparound windows frame the splendid landscapes, creating a living piece of art that changes with the seasons.
Right photo: The natural textures create a relaxing and romantic vibe in the primary bedroom. Left photo: A hot tub on the upper level of the open-air wooden silo is perfect for unwinding while taking in the incredible scenery.
One thing that remains consistent is the magical nature of Sunset Ranch. “It really rejuvenates and recharges the soul,” the owner says. “You can feel the reverence of the place; you feel like you’ve been transported somewhere else … somewhere heavenly.”
Kurt Dubbe, AIA, Principal & Founder
Dubbe Moulder Architects
Steve Morgan Construction