JLF Architects Celebrates 40 Years of Design Excellence Creating Legacy Homes in the Rocky Mountain West and Beyond

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Rocky Mountain firm JLF Architects is celebrating four decades of creating legacy homes, evolving from cabins to contemporary architecture while pioneering the art of masterfully using reclaimed and antique materials in home design. The award-winning firm counts 40 years of honoring regional materials and the natural landscape, integrating them with technology, modern elements of steel and glass, and developing its time-tested design-build philosophy.

Celebrating 40 years, Bozeman, Montana-based JLF Architects reveres the environment with place-based architecture as seen in its 2016 “Home of the Year”-winning design (photo by Audrey Hall).

We believe that the most sustainable thing we can do as architects and builders is to construct houses that last a century or more.

Architectural design leader JLF Architects, with offices in Bozeman, Montana; Jackson, Wyoming; and Park City, Utah, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019, honoring four decades of creating timeless, legacy homes and pioneering the art of masterfully incorporating reclaimed materials into contemporary residential projects.

JLF launched its pioneering vision in 1979 with the restoration of a log cabin in Montana. Design principal Paul Bertelli and founding architect Jonathan Foote had a plan to reuse the hand-hewn logs from an original homestead building on the ranch owned by Foote’s brother. The team painstakingly dismantled a decrepit cabin, numbered each piece and then restacked the old materials within the design of a new home on the site. The effort honored a past era while moving it forward with thoughtfulness and utility.

Before “sustainable architecture” was a trend, JLF Architects was incorporating reclaimed and recycled materials into its buildings. Over the past 40 years, JLF has taken the simple concept of reusing antique materials to another level. The intention isn’t just to recreate the past by recycling old wood and stone; instead, each JLF design reimagines those materials as a contemporary form.

“For 40 years we have been pioneers in using recycled components in our buildings,” reflects Paul Bertelli. “We have always believed in sustainability—we believe that the most sustainable thing we can do as architects and builders is to construct houses that last a century or more. We make them with materials that mature, get better with age and require very little maintenance. They are rigorously engineered and extraordinarily structured to be robust and durable so they are ultimately timeless, not trendy.”

Evolving from cabins to contemporary architecture, the firm honors regional materials and the natural landscape while integrating them with technology, modern elements of steel and glass, and current design movements. “Our design-build approach has allowed our team to look at the design of each structure holistically to create continuity and quality within architecture,” explains principal Logan Leachman.

Growing from two founders to a team of 25, plus innumerable artisans, woodworkers, stone masons and blacksmiths, JLF has endured as a versatile force within the Design-Build sector. Today partners Ashley Sullivan, John Lauman, Jake Scott and Travis Growney, in addition to Bertelli and Leachman, are all successors to the now retired Jonathan Foote. Weathering decades of come-and-go design trends, quality of materials, technology and economic swings, JLF remains stalwart as a firm producing custom homes that are authentic, personal and refined. Their award-winning work dots the landscape of the United States from the Pacific oceanfront to the Western frontier to the Hudson River.

In 2000, JLF Architects and Big-D Signature, with offices in Jackson, Wyoming; Bozeman, Montana; and Park City, Utah, joined forces with a shared Design-Build philosophy. Recognizing the value of craft, JLF was reclaiming vernacular buildings, restoring structures and restacking stones to reinvigorate architecture in the West. Big-D had been constructing buildings with design integrity for an additional 30 years. Together, their visions emphasized artisans, handcrafted work and nature as the forces in design, resulting in one-of-a-kind buildings that are anchored in honesty of materials and integrity of place.

Over time JLF Architects has cultivated a body of work that is broadly recognized as a standard for timeless architecture. From rustic modern homesteads to houses that elegantly encompass a sense of place to boutique commercial projects, their hallmark of building with integrity is one that stands the test of time.

About JLF Architects:
Building timeless structures rooted in integrity and simple elegance, Jackson Hole, Park City and Bozeman-based JLF Architects applies distinctive solutions and materials to create place-based houses marked by the influences of landscapes from the Pacific coast to the Rocky Mountains to the Eastern Seaboard. Their award-winning perspective is powered by inspired design and an exacting eye for placement, an ethos that stems from a unity of nature, beauty, balance and imagination. JLF Architects has established a genuine alliance with Big-D Signature, built over 19 years of working together, to create a streamlined design-build process that benefits clients. Winners of Mountain Living magazine’s 2016 Home of the Year, the JLF Architects and Big-D Signature design-build team unites passionate architects with dedicated builders to enable the collective imagination of visionary artisans working with visionary clients. For more information visit http://www.JLFArchitects.com and follow JLF on Instagram.

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