Wapiti Valley, WY
studio.bna and studioryker
Case Study: Wapiti House
The Wapiti Valley of northwest Wyoming lies between the city of Cody and the entrance to Yellowstone National Park. The area is an outdoorsman’s dream: wildlife, interesting rock formations and plenty of activities including hiking, horseback riding, fishing and more are available for the daring.
The site was selected as a second home for a couple from Los Angeles, the pair looking for a second home where they could unwind, breathe the fresh Northern Rockies air, and take in the rugged, breathtaking views.
Forward Thinking Sustainable Design
Armed with an edict to design a home that’s both “aggressive and interesting” and also blends well the built and natural environment, architects Brett Nave and Lori Ryker of rykernave design were called upon to make their vision a reality.
In addition to anchoring the floor plan of the 3,100-square-foot home with a 60-foot wall of rammed earth to offer fortification from the extreme climate – the wall contains a 2-inch gap filled with rigid insulation – the home features 75 percent recycled-content steel and composite wood panels, among other sustainable design elements.
“The climate in Wyoming is quite volatile and weather conditions change frequently,” Nave says. “The homeowners love the capability to be able to open one panel – or the whole system – at any given time based on the weather.”
One of the most enjoyed (and greenest) features of the home is a NanaWall SL70 folding panel system in the living/dining/entertainment area. The moveable glass walls allow the residents to have a “bring-the-outdoors-in” experience, according to Nave. “They use their NanaWall system all the time,” he adds.
“Before selecting NanaWall, we loosely looked at other wall solutions including Quantum, but we couldn’t seem to find the features we wanted for this project including an all-aluminum, minimal sightline solution,” Nave recalls. “With NanaWall, we were able to find what the homeowner was looking for.”
With the SL70 system, Nave knew he was getting a solution that would meet—and exceed – his clients’ expectations. “The climate in Wyoming is quite volatile and weather conditions change frequently,” Nave says. “The homeowners love the capability to be able to open one panel – or the whole system – at any given time based on the weather.”
Another plus is that the monumentally sized, thermally broken panel system – which can be provided up to 43 feet wide – offers unrestricted views of the nearby mountains. Designers also have the freedom to work with various configurations utilizing one to twelve panels along with the ability to have the panels open inward or outward.
Features and Benefits
The frame components are 3-1/8” wide extruded aluminum that is thermally broken with ¾” wide extruded aluminum that is also thermally broken with 15/16” wide polyamide plastic. A wide range of coatings and finishes are available, too, with the option of different finishes available on the inside and outside. On top of that, panel units can be supplied either 15/16” double-insulated or 1 ½” triple-insulated low-E safety glass, or with other high-performing glass such as Heat Mirror, acoustic, special tint, etc.
When the harsh winds blow, the homeowners can easily and quickly close the wall and the energy efficiency features, including all weather stripping (consisting of EPDM or brush seals) between panels and between panels and frames allows for an airtight, energy efficient wall.
Nave and the homeowners are both happy with the results of the SL70 system -- so much that Nave has decided to use NanaWall for a new project: “I have selected a NanaWall system for a zoo project I’m currently designing – a rhinoceros habitat, specifically. A folding door system will be able to bridge the gap between visitors and the animals,” he says. “People and rhinos will be able to visit face to face and the system will help provide natural ventilation for the interior rhinoceros day room.”
Man and beast – both benefiting from NanaWall.