Studhorse: A Modern Retreat

Studhorse: A Modern Retreat

For the modern homeowner, a house is no longer just a shelter or structure to protect them from natural elements. A house is more than that; it’s an expression of individuality, taste, and style. Therefore, architects and home designers have had to go out of their way to fuse utility with imaginative and innovative design to make living in modern houses a more enriching, adventurous, and fulfilling experience.

Not a Typical Retreat

Studhorse is one such architectural wonder that perfectly blends utility and aesthetic design. Designed by the renowned Olson Kundig Architects, Studhorse is the epitome of creative architectural design that leverages natural landscape beauty and features to achieve kerb appeal for buildings. This spectacular rural retreat in Winthrop, Washington, is constructed in such a manner that allows one to enjoy its beautiful interior features while still being able to experience as much of the surrounding natural environment as possible.

Studhorse offers the perfect escape for someone searching for adventure, peace, and tranquility.

Nestled away in the Methow Valley, Studhorse offers the perfect escape for someone searching for adventure, peace, and tranquility. The remoteness of the property adds to its appeal as a rural retreat. There is an abundance of magnificent natural features including the Studhorse Ridge, Pearrygin lake, and the national forest that hosts the Nordic ski trail system during winter. Visitors can therefore enjoy very beautiful natural scenery that is unblemished by human encroachment and settlement.


When it comes to the overall plan and design of the retreat, Studhorse is a marvelous work of genius and creative imagination. The unique site features four separate structures that serve different purposes, just like rooms in a house. The living areas meant for social interaction, including the bar, kitchen, and family room are packed together. The bedrooms and private den are also quartered together separately. The guest rooms are slightly further detached to allow for private use. The magnificent sauna is lodged away from the other structures, offering fantastic views of the scenery beyond and the valley below. All the structures are set around a beautiful courtyard and splendid swimming pool.


The purpose of this rare and unique concept is to ensure that visitors remain in constant interaction with nature as much as possible. As Tom Kundig himself puts it, “A house that’s all about adventure is one that forces you to be outside and engage actively with the seasons. You have to go outside to get inside.” The sheer brilliance of the design comes to the fore at the entrances to the various structures. The entrances are fitted with projecting eaves that provide shelter for guests to conveniently move across the different areas regardless of whether it’s raining, snowing, or scorching hot. Just how perfect is that?

”A house that’s all about adventure is one that forces you to be outside and engage actively with the seasons. You have to go outside to get inside.”

Because of the tough desert conditions in Methow valley’s mountain landscape, the exterior is made out of tough, frugal steel materials that can withstand the scorching summer sun and heavy winters. The mixture of Pre-rusted Corten steel and the vintage wood for the interior gives the site a raw and rugged aura that matches the landscape well. The house’s interior decoration and features are designed for the ideal family getaway and entertainment.


Thoughtful Interior Spaces

Glass is a prominent feature of the house’s interior structure. The purpose of glass is to open up as much of the house to nature as possible or, as the architect puts it, “to make a vivid connection to the landscape.” The living area’s open floor plan allows unrestricted access to the kitchen, dining space, and living room. This open concept makes the house suitable for accommodating various home goods that can provide utility while at the same time forming part of the overall interior decoration. The home is also specially designed such that some walls can be opened into the outside or into other rooms. This makes it possible for guests to watch TV from the pool area and even enjoy the scenery outside in rooms within the house. The whole home is essentially a sheltered patio!

The Studhorse rural retreat is an architectural masterpiece to say the least. The site’s design is in line with the firm’s founder Jim Olson’s ideas of marrying architectural design with landscape scenery to make living in modern houses a more inspiring, therapeutic, and enriching experience. Studhorse Winthrop’s unique and innovative design serves to make those family retreats more adventurous and exciting and is the ultimate destination for those who wish to explore and indulge in nature, all under the shelter of a spectacular modern house that is as open as a patio.

To read more about Studhorse, visit Olson Kundig website. Images are taken from Olson Kundig website.

Back to blog