When the owner first saw the Edgecliff property in Warm Water Canyon, he felt it had a look and presence that he had never found in any of his travels. Total solitude, incredible views from every direction and a year-round stream provides a natural playground which includes access to skiing, hiking and boating, not to mention a first class trout stream within 50 feet of the property.
The owner of an international company, the present owner, thought that the secluded, 67-acre land would make a fantastic site for the retreats and trainings his company held on a regular basis. After purchasing the property, he felt a closer and closer connection to the land and decided that in addition to building a retreat and training center, he would also use the property as his home.
His vision was to build something that would look as though it grew out of the Warm Water Canyon. So, rather than dig into the mountainside to create a level building surface, he decided that the site warranted something unique that honored and preserved the natural wilderness. What he imagined was a house or a retreat center that climbed up the canyon, utilizing all the incredible and different views. When looking down you will see the river, an amazing rock face on the west side, down the canyon following the stream and up again at the spectacular, almost vertical wall on the south. When looking up the Warm Water Canyon, there are peaks leading to Snow Basin ski resort.
Initial discussions with contractors and architects about building on such terrain with its cliffs rising and falling in all directions resulted in opinions that it would be next to impossible. Building a house that actually followed the contours of the canyon to have minimal impact on the surrounding trees and natural setting would only complicate things that were already very complicated.
After numerous discussions with contractors, architects and engineers, the owner decided that as difficult, expensive and slow the process would be– the unique quality of the property warranted the time and expense. To that end, the project to create Edgecliff, a home and retreat that would look as though it had grown from the canyon, began.
The owner insisted that if Edgecliff was to be made as though it had grown out of Warm Water Canyon then the rock on and around it needed to come from the canyon itself. Thousands of tons of landscaping rock were quarried from the canyon, and the work began on the property. The ultimate design was a building that climbs up the canyon, six levels high and boasts 150 windows to showcase the incredible views.
In order to showcase the impeccable views, the builders kept the hundred-year-old evergreens around the house to create the feeling of panoramic, 360-degree views. When sitting on the decks one can look out and feel they are nestled within the trees, streams, waterfalls and ponds.
Edgecliff represents not only a truly unique and spectacular setting, but also a home and a center that is uniquely designed to honor and utilize its singular placement.
The four-year construction project required extensive coordination between the various construction crews and landscaping crews. Each segment of the house and landscaping had to be created simultaneously, building the house and landscaping from the top to the bottom. This required incredible coordination so that the building construction did not impair the movement and placement of huge boulders as part of the landscaping and that the landscaping permitted the movement of the huge timbers that ran throughout the building as well.
The project became an act of creativity and love. The rock placement became a labor of artistic vision for the head of a large landscaping company who insisted on placing all of the rockwork himself, coming in each evening to work on his rock placement after everyone else had left for the day. The framer and contractor labored over each and every beam. As the project continued, the best artisans were brought onto the project to create just the right finishes. As the project continued, the best artisans were brought onto the project to create just the right finishes. Paint and stain colors were labored over and in the end it was discovered that they both matched the colors that Frank Lloyd Wright had used for his own home. An old school, Italian painter who joined the project spent six months working on the finish of the solid alder doors and window framing, creating finishes that rival the best furniture.
As Edgecliff began to fulfill the vision that was hoped for, all of those involved took pride and ownership in what was to become a work of art and nature.
Edgecliff pulls you into its warm inviting spaces in the home and at the same time unites you with the grandeur and peace that is Warm Water Canyon from which it has grown. From the waterfall and trout pond to the unparalleled views, Edgeciff creates a truly wonderful and unique experience.