Learn how Jamie Mackay remains on the intersection of aesthetics, practicality and sustainability with his Utah project.
The mass exodus from urban centers triggered by the pandemic has resulted in formerly seasonal destinations welcoming a fresh generation of year-round residents. Newly remote white-collar workers, liberated from their daily commutes by the coronavirus, are fleeing cramped city quarters in search of rural zen (with wifi, of course).
Located fifteen minutes outside of Park City, Utah - the charming ski town known for its annual Sundance Film Festival - and situated on more than 2,500 acres, Benloch Ranch caters to this new crop of urban expats through minimalist architecture and sustainable design practices, all made-to-order.
Benloch Ranch is positioned on a vast plateau that overlooks the scenic Jordanelle Reservoir, a beautiful stretch of landscape that includes over 20 miles of on-site hiking, biking and cross-country skiing trails across 900 acres of protected open space. Would-be residents can choose their ideal home from a suite of four Scandinavian-inspired, minimalist designs - The Helix, The Alpine, The Stack and The Icon - all crafted in the Nordic tradition.
Jamie Mackay, owner and designer of beloved tiny-home prefab studio Wheelhaus, is the creative force behind Benloch Ranch. As a developer, his focus remains on the intersection of aesthetics, practicality and sustainability. “Cabin couture” is a term often applied to his designs, a chic evolution from the log cabins he grew up admiring (his father worked in log cabin construction). The Benloch Ranch models are undeniably more chalet than cabin, but they feature the same design elements that Mackay has made his architectural signature - soaring ceilings, expansive windows and conscientious integration with the surrounding environment.
“Our highest priority is to minimize the negative impacts of our activities while striving to be better stewards of the land,” Mackay says. “We’ve adopted a high level of sustainability standards including protection policies surrounding wildlife preservation, conservation of vegetation, and water quality protection.”
As with Wheelhaus, the pre-designed homes of Benloch Ranch will be manufactured off-site, an eco-friendly alternative to on-site construction that reduces noise pollution and the development’s overall impact on its immediate environment. Additionally, Benloch Ranch will host glamping and backcountry yurt sites, as well as the boutique Fireside Resort, making its unique blend of sophisticated design and extraordinary scenery available to outdoor enthusiasts simply looking to elevate their weekend getaway.
As society recalibrates and looks ahead to a (hopefully) post-pandemic world, environmentally-conscious and design-centric, sustainable developments like Benloch Ranch will likely become the norm, rather than the exception. As of now, however, Benloch Ranch exists in a class by itself, offering a glimpse of what the future could be.