People have an inherent craving for an unimpeded prospect, coupled with a need to find refuge, as the British geographer Jay Appleton noted in his 1975 book The Experience of Landscape. In other words, humans want to have a view and a place to hide. Appleton’s theories inspired architects Arthur Andersson and Chris Wise of Austin, Texas, in their design of a four-building compound in northwestern Montana.

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Their clients, Connie and Martin Stone, for whom Andersson•Wise Architects had designed a house in Tucson, Arizona, wanted both prospect and refuge in their camp on Flathead Lake, Montana. As Connie Stone says, the couple felt that the firm would create “a completely unique place where we would feel both protected and in nature.”

Descending a narrow gravel path through dense forest, you encounter first the compound’s 1,859-square-foot gatehouse, then a 5,358-square-foot lodge, a 2,073-square-foot guesthouse, and, closest to the lake, a 3,231-square-foot “master” house. Here the clients have their bedroom, baths, sitting room, and two offices.

Each of the buildings possesses its own personality, yet all have intimate, cavelike spaces and expansive porches. Movable walls provide seamless connections between the inside and outside, plus dramatic views of the lake.

While the gatehouse, guesthouse, and lodge are all clad in black-stained cedar with pitched Corten steel roofs, the master house stands out as the pièce de résistance. Designed as a sculptural object in the landscape, it provides a separate place for the clients to retreat from family and guests.

On the upper side of the house, the architects built walls of reused Douglas fir, larch, and grand fir trees that were cleared on the site. Milled to standard cordwood size, the logs are dry-stacked on either side of an insulated, waterproof layer, and secured with blind fasteners.

 In addition, rock walls of locally quarried granite and a planted roof make this house feel refined yet humble — civilized with a natural roughness that fits its setting.

The master house, as well as the other three buildings on the site, was strategically placed to avoid impeding the path of a series of underground streams that flow to the lake.

These streams help irrigate other, more civilized spaces carved out of the wilderness — most notably a lawn that slopes down to the water. “If I could pick one word to describe the spaces, both inside and out,” says Connie Stone, “I’d call them ‘pure.’ Everything is resolved, everything is correct.”  And the spaces achieve their intended dual role.  



Martin & Connie Stone



Andersson•Wise Architects
807 Brazos St. Suite 800
Austin, TX 78701
p512.476.5780, f512.476.0858

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Arthur Andersson, AIA
Chris Wise, AIA
Christopher Sanders, AIA
Becky Joye
Matthew Ames


Interior designer:

London Boone Interiors
Mimi London Inc.
Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Avenue, Suite G-168
Los Angeles, CA 90069
contact: Mimi London
Tel. (310) 855-3373



Structural Engineer:
Eclipse Engineering
235 N. First Street West
Missoula, MT 59802
contact: Troy Leistiko
Tel. (406) 721-5733

Mep Engineer:
Schwarz Architecture & Engineering
100 Financial Drive, #120
Kalispell, MT 59901
contact: Jody Waverek
Tel. (406) 755-1333

Geotechnical Engineer:
Cmg Engineering
1075 Ttrumble Creek Rd., Unit E
Kalispell, MT 59903
contact: Joshua Smith
Tel. (406) 257-8156x



Doepkers Landscaping Inc.
605 Capistrano Dr.
Kalispell, MT 59911-6615
contact: Jim Doepker
Tel. (406) 755-2372


General contractor:

Bigfork Builders
14150 Bug Creek Rd.
Bigfork, MT 59911
Contact: Brad Reedstrom
(406) 253 3373


Martel Construction
305 Hwy 83
Big Fork, Montana 59911
Contact: Steve Conway
(406) 837-1063



Art Gray, 310-663-4756


CAD system, project management, or other software used:




Structural system

Wood Frame

Wood: Douglas Fir, Alaskan Cedar



Other: Weathered Steel



Quantum Windows & Doors
2720 34th St. Everest WA 98201
Ty Robb: 201.682.9553



Glass: Cardinal



Metal doors: Elison Bronze

Wood doors:
Quantum Windows & Doors;
2720 34th St. Everest WA 98201
Ty Robb: 201.682.9553

Upswinging doors, other:
Turner Exhibits



Locksets: Frant Allart

Cabinet hardware: Haefele


Interior finishes

Paints and stains: Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and Sikkens

Floor and wall tile: Daltile & Waterworks



Interior ambient lighting:


Downlights: Lucifur

Exterior: Teka



Waterworks and Chicago Faucets