Modern Mountain: Create Your View Platform

Modern Mountain homes have a style all their own - vaulted ceilings, large window walls and huge decks - with the primary goal of taking advantage of those wonderful mountain views. How and where to locate the house and other structures on the site is an important part of the design process for Mountain Homes. Often, the land is so steep it's hard to create yard space.

We created a view platform for the outdoor space between the garage and home . Topography is a key factor when designing a Mountain Home and aligning this space between the garage and home allowed us to level and elevate the area. Then, we angled the two structures to frame a view corridor between them.

Nick Corcoran.jpg

Nick Corcoran

Architecture & Project Manager







Square Feet



House Highlights

  • House designed around Views.

  • Rugged exteriors.

  • Exposed wood beams.

  • Natural Stone.

  • Clean lines.

House Highlights

  • Gable roofs.

  • Vaulted Ceilings.

  • Prominent Fireplaces.

  • Large Decks and Outdoor Patios.

  • Floor to Ceiling Glass.


Modern Mountain

Modern Mountain Exterior Front Driveway
Modern Mountain Exterior Front Porch Looking ThroughDiagram that shows views and elevation of a house

Like a lot of mountain home designs we had to work with steep topography. The owner wanted the garage on the same level as the first floor so we built up the land and created a level pad for the garage and an outdoor space in between the house and garage. We put a firepit in this space to encourage hanging out and used the fire pit as the hinge point between the two buildings to splay the angle between the structures. This put the firepit on a raised platform overlooking the mountains and when standing between the two structures opened them up towards the view. (See site plan above.)

Rear Exterior with Walk-Out Basement & Large Deck

Mountain homes have to find creative ways to create yard space. Having two structures in close proximity to each other allows grade to be built up against the side of them and create a courtyard between.


Carry The Vault all the Way Through

Being able to see through the house to the mountains is a great way to add instant drama and excitement. A strategy for doing this is to carry a vaulted ceiling from the front porch, through the foyer and living space, all the way to the back porch of the home. Pulling that vaulted ceiling through all the spaces allows you to see across them at once, connecting the inside to the outside and making the home feel bigger.

Hand-drawn Section Diagram
Modern Mountain Exterior Front Porch Looking Through
Dining Area with View of Deck BeyondEntry Foyer with view through Rear of House

The living room with vaulted ceilings carried out onto the porch.


The Fireplace Is A Central Feature Of A Mountain Home

Living Room with Stone Fireplace & Built-In Bookshelves
Hand-drawn Fireplace Image with Built-In Bookshelves

Modern Mountain Homes fireplaces are prominent features and the house is often designed around them. When designing a fireplace in a living room consider the built-in bookshelves and mantels. Think about the hearth and if you want it raised. Stone is the top choice for fireplaces in a Mountain home. It relates to the stone on the exterior. Having a timber slab as a mantel against the stone pairs very well.

TV location and design in living rooms is also important. Some people don’t like them over the fireplace but it is also an issue to have more than one focal point in a room. It’s hard to block two walls from light so often the tv over the fireplace is the best solution. If you do a raised hearth consider how high it will raise the TV. If you have a wide room a tv beside the fireplace is a good solution.

Designer Tip

Try Site Built Glulam Trusses for Large Vaulted Spaces

Truss set in place
Truss on the ground

Mountain homes use wood for structural beams, but they also have big walls of glass, which are created by big beams and vaulted ceilings. Timber can be hard to source and expensive. I recommend trying Glulam beams, especially for large spans. You can get them in really long lengths and they are available in stock sizes. You can then make exposed steel plates and bolts attachments, giving the project a modern look and feel.

Try Glulam beams when you need to create large spans. You can get them in really long lengths and cut and shape on site.

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Ben Robbins

Architecture & Build Manager

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