4 Bed/4 Bath
4,183 Square Feet
Built in 2006
Wiebe Modern Real Estate
Heinrich Wiebe, 208-850-3000
Frank Lloyd Wright's most popular home, Fallingwater, is a modern feat of engineering. Built in 1937, the cantilevered residence appears to float above a flowing river and waterfall in western Pennsylvania. While this week's home may not have been designed by the famous architect, nor does it jut out above a cascading stream, it did require a good amount of engineering to be built into a sloped lot, three-tenths of an acre in size, with a 17-foot gain in elevation in Boise's northeast Foothills.
Drawing on Fallingwater for inspiration, homeowner and engineer Robert Gundlach created a spacious, comfortable home with a flat roof, cantilevered overhangs and an earthy color scheme. Linear and modern outside, the interior combines organic materials like stacked Oakley stone, slate tile backsplashes and clear hickory cabinetry with manmade elements like stamped concrete floors and crushed quartz countertops to create a backdrop that is both modern and timeless.
Several interior design elements have turned empty space into efficient work spaces. Oversized pocket doors at the rear of the formal dining room conceal an office alcove where a built-in desk and a full wall of shelving and cabinets are hidden. The formal dining room, which can be made private by shutting a glass door, can double as a conference room for a home-based business. You'll find another work space as you descend to the lowest floor of the four-level home: The stairway landing contains a wide computer desk.
A recycling station near the kitchen makes recycling easier and laundry chutes in the private quarters upstairs deliver dirty clothes to large baskets set atop the washer and dryer on the main level. A radiant heating system set into the floor replaces traditional forced-air heating during wintertime.
The house contains a 29-foot elevator shaft. Currently a stack of closets fills the space, but the new owner could install an elevator if he or she is unable to manage climbing up and down the home's many stairways.
On the shaded northern side of the dwelling, the rooftops of a three-car garage and a single-bay form a series of spacious decks that offer views of nearby Foothills.
"I didn't want to fight with the sun," said Gundlach.
He avoided placing the patios on the sunny western or southern sides of the home--even though they would have provided city views--because they would become too hot to relax and finish a beer on a sweltering summer day.
The floor plan of the four-level home places an open living room, kitchen, an informal dining space and the formal dining room on the main level. A wall of windows in the living room provides Foothill views.
The next level up is where two bedrooms and a shared bathroom are located. Up another half flight of stairs is the master suite and an open loft that currently houses an upright piano. It's easy to imagine hosting a dinner party where an unseen pianist fills the home with music while guests mingle in the living room below.
The lowest level contains a family room and billiard room, guest quarters and a five-person sauna. Just outside, a rectangular swimming pool is surrounded by a painted concrete deck that connects with the patios on the north side of this impressive dwelling.
Pros: Comfortably modern home inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Fallingwater.
Cons: Lots of stairs will improve your cardio--like it or not.
Open House: Saturday, July 4, noon-3 p.m.