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Corinne Brown Rocks

When Corinne Brown took on an Idaho vacation home for a long-term client, she didn’t realize she would be broadening her skill sets to include an understanding of geology and excavation.

Set into a steeply sloped and very rocky site, it took nearly a year to plan the excavation—carefully dynamiting, grading, and reshaping to fit a home that seems to naturally unfold into its surroundings.

And, because the plan, from the beginning, was to incorporate the rocks into the design. not only on the exterior, but the interior, Corinne spent some of her trips to the site boulder-hunting with he contractor and architect.  The contractors would then bring in the heavy equipment to move the finds back to the site and into place.

A natural, minimalist palette and unadorned materials allow the large windows to act as art, framing the surrounding landscape and further blurring the lines between interior and exterior.

“Without a doubt, this was one of the most challenging projects I ever worked on,” said Corinne. “Not just the additional concerns due to the boulders, but the logistics of working in a relatively remote location and the related implications. Then, add in the extended time frame, and complications were bound to occur. And, since this was the first contemporary project for the client, there was an element of added trepidation to the relationship.”

Corinne used some examples from this project on a presentation she gave to DTL members on planning, logistics, and receivers. “I learned so much—including what questions to ask upfront when dealing with local suppliers and warehousing. Those relationships can make or break a project like this.”