This accessory structure was built for an Ironman athlete determined to train year round in a climate that receives up to 600” of snow a year in Victor, Idaho. In addition to a training facility for biking on a trainer and swimming for hours a day in the Endless pool, the structure also serves to satisfy the client’s penchant for homegrown tomatoes – year round. The building is positioned to avoid the long shadows of the adjacent main house to the east and takes full advantage of the sun on cloudless days. With the support of grow lights during the shorter winter days the building operates as a fully functioning greenhouse. The building’s aesthetics were derived from the client’s desire to pay homage to the local agrarian vernacular in the days before plywood – when diagonal siding was used both as a finish material and to deter torqueing of the structure. The exterior finish material is reclaimed wood from a disassembled barn in the area. The exposed timber structure on the interior was also salvaged locally. The roofing is corrugated metal which is used frequently in the climate for its long lasting and durable properties.
Anyone who lives in a cold snowy climate can attest to the magical properties of sitting in front of a double-paned Low E insulated south facing window on a sunny day in February. This building takes that experience to the Nth degree. We popped in for a visit on a sunny day in mid-February to see how the building was performing. The reclining lawn chairs strategically placed behind the still climbing tomato plants seduced us. The space felt fantastic. You could close your eyes, breath in deeply and distinctly smell tomato plants and chlorine (from the Endless pool) – combined with the warm and fuzzy feeling of the sun – and for a moment drift back into the heavenly arms of a previous time, seemingly long ago, yet not forgotten – a time called summer. Oh sunshine, your ability to deliver us from evil never ceases to amaze me.