A Hillsborough Home Offers More Than Meets the Eye {A Hillsborough Home Offers More Than Meets the Eye} – English

A Hillsborough Home Offers More Than Meets the Eye {A Hillsborough Home Offers More Than Meets the Eye} – English

The house that architects Joshua Aidlin and Peter Larsen devised in Hillsborough, California, appears as an enormous glass pavilion. It incorporates rammed earth walls in addition to glass ones, and it’s topped with a kite-like asymmetrical butterfly roof.

“Contemporary design practices are too driven by optics and making a great image for the Internet,” says Larsen. “A house is not a purely visual object. We’re much more interested in creating an embodied human experience.”

The rammed earth walls supply sustainability and texture for the building, while the glass walls allow sunlight to pour into the rooms and offer the residents a connection to the landscape.

Designer Gary Hutton arranged modernist low-profile furnishings with an earthy palette that speak to the clients’ preferences and blend with the landscape.

“I did a custom rug with greens and amber,” says Hutton, who selected Living Divani sofas covered with pale pumpkin-colored chenille and leather.

Hutton brought brighter hues into the nearby dining area by surrounding the geometric wood dining table with chairs that showcase coral-colored leather.

“The Creation Baumann drapery fabric has been cut and sewn back together with bright orange thread, giving it this very sophisticated patchwork design,” the designer says. “The cotton was grown in the United States and processed in a zero-waste factory in Switzerland.”

In the end, the residence offers sustainable spaces the owners and their visitors can enjoy for years to come.

“This house is a LEED Platinum-certified home with net-zero energy,” Aidlin says. “We wanted the building to be as sculpturally dynamic as it is practical.”

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A Rustic Texas Home Embraces Its Natural Setting {A Rustic Texas Home Embraces Its Natural Setting} – English

A Rustic Texas Home Embraces Its Natural Setting {A Rustic Texas Home Embraces Its Natural Setting} – English

In the cooler autumn months, Matt and Paige Shoberg and their young sons enjoy the open and airy space overlooking the swimming pool and spa behind their home in West Lake Hills, Texas. Furman + Keil Architects completely reimagined the residence with a new plaster skin and two new additions. “It’s so peaceful,” explains the busy mother. “I don’t get a lot of peace.”

The original abode’s traditional red brick gave way to thick plaster, with its multiple gables and adornments eliminated in favor of streamlined standing seam metal detail running underneath the roofline. A steel and glass bridge, which houses the dining room, passes over a dip in the land, connecting the existing structure to one of the home’s two new wings.

While Matt, a home builder, executed the architects’ vision for the new additions and completely reconfigured the interior, Paige worked with interior designer Wendy Williamson to select finishes and furnishings.

“With almost every selection on this house, we asked, ‘Have we seen it before?’ And if the answer was ‘yes,’ we didn’t want to do it,” Paige explains, pointing to the black slate flooring and bespoke light fixtures throughout. “We love it here.”

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The Achievement of the JY Ranch {The Achievement of the JY Ranch} – English

The Achievement of the JY Ranch {The Achievement of the JY Ranch} – English

Quietly tucked at the base of the Grand Tetons, where the sharp foothills crescendo and fall into Phelps Lake and rise again to the mouth of Death Canyon, lie the last vestiges of Jackson Hole’s earliest dude ranch. Now more than a decade removed, the remnants of the lodges and cabins and boat houses that once dotted this remote expanse of wilderness have all but been erased by the cadence of the seasons, virtually imperceptible save perhaps to those who spent summers working or visiting the once bustling JY Ranch. 

It’s no mistake that the only traces of this storied homestead—which at one time hosted heads of state and society’s elite—are now only a few clearings in the otherwise dense forest. No Act of God or stroke of misfortune spelled its undoing, as became many of the valley’s first horse and cattle operations. This return to nature is, in fact, a design generations in the making and the result of the largest conservation effort in the region, dating back to the early 20th Century.

To fully appreciate the achievement of this rugged, sprawling space requires stepping back in time to the pioneer days of Jackson Hole. It is a story of intrigue, of vision and foresight, and one that underscores the natural grandeur of this remarkable destination and the passions that keep it alive.

The Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve was established in 2007 when the historic JY Ranch was dedicated into Grand Teton National Park. The transfer marked the culmination of the Rockefeller family’s multi-generational commitment to preserving the natural beauty of one of the world’s most iconic destinations. Photo: Nic Lehoux

The Tribulation of Pioneers

In 1903, David Spalding, an outdoorsman and aspiring rancher, founded a modest homestead at the foot of the Teton Mountains. The first settlers had begun to arrive to Jackson Hole in the mid-1880s, most attracted by the area’s natural beauty and the burgeoning cattle trade across the West. But the valley remained largely isolated. Fur traders had frequented the region for decades, compelled by its diversity of wild game. But short growing seasons and rocky soil made it difficult for ranchers to raise hay and crops to support their livestock during the harsh winters.

Spalding, to his misfortune, had landed on one of the most challenging plots of land, despite its stunning beauty. The surrounding mountains caught eastward-moving storm formations, and, elevated above the valley floor, the location accumulated some of the area’s great snowfall. The rocky alpine terrain made cultivating pastures difficult, as did the old-growth pine and cottonwood forests that had to be cleared to give way to grazing.

After only three years of making a go at ranching the property, Spalding turned over the land to Louis Joy and his Princeton-educated business partner, Maxwell Struthers Burt. Both hailing from the East Coast, Joy and Burt saw a different opportunity in the property. At this point, word of Jackson Hole and the Greater Yellowstone region’s natural grandeur had begun to spread. Dude ranches, which offered guests a chance to participate in Western life along with fishing, hunting and pack-tripping, had begun to crop up across the Mountain West, though not yet in Jackson Hole.

Louis Joy established the JY Ranch as Jackson Hole’s first dude operation with business partner Struthers Burt.

The Spalding homestead, Joy and Burt conspired, was a chance to tap into this emerging industry and the still largely undiscovered beauty of the region. By all accounts, the ranch provided an ideal setting for a dude outfit: Its proximity to the Teton range allowed access into near endless backcountry for trail rides, pack-trips and hunting. The adjacent Phelps Lake and iconic Snake River to the east offered remarkable trout fishing and boating. And by running cattle during the summer months, the establishment could still offer the experience of traditional ranching activities.

In 1907, Joy and Burt opened the gates of the JY Ranch (the brand was an abbreviation of Joy’s name). Almost immediately, the business took off. Buoyed by Joy’s knowledge of ranching and Burt’s wealthy connections in the East, the JY began welcoming visitors. In its first year the ranch hosted five guests, all acquaintances of Burt, but as word of the operation spread so too did its popularity.

Over the next several years relations between Joy and Burt began to sour. Joy had promised his partner a five-year option to buy half-interest in the business, but it soon became apparent those plans were not likely to come to fruition. Frustrated, Burt severed ties with Joy in 1911 with the intention of starting his own dude ranch in the valley, which he did.

Bolstered by growing visitation to nearby Yellowstone National Park, which was established by Congress and ratified by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872, the reputation of the JY Ranch continued to spread. Keeping up with the growing operations proved to be a formidable task, even for a veteran rancher like Joy. In 1916, Joy began leasing his outfit to Henry S.A. Stewart, a businessman from Pittsburg.

Under Stewart’s direction, the operation grew further. In 1920, he purchased the property from Joy and incorporated it into his adjoining land holdings, which he contracted out to raise cattle. Soon the JY Ranch was consistently operating at capacity—65 guests a stay, which was a substantially larger number than the 10 to 20 visitors most dude ranches could accommodate. The weekly $65 rate included meals, lodging, boats and saddle horses.

Stewart proved a shrewd entrepreneur. He offered guests comforts that were unusual to the area: fresh vegetables, dairy products and beef, all locally sourced. (Despite the area’s impressive cattle herds, most ranching families subsisted on elk and deer rather than dipping into their profit-makers.) Stewart launched motor tours of Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons and began a general store that sold fishing licenses, camping supplies, tobacco, candy and medicine. Those conveniences soon established the JY as the area’s largest and most successful dude ranch—strong enough even to weather the Great Depression.

When the stock market collapsed in 1929, Stewart raised his rates and lowered capacity—a move that defied convention. Most dude ranches at the time were cutting costs in hopes of attracting visitors that could still afford travel. Stewart’s plan succeeded in appealing to a high-worth clientele and helped keep the business afloat through the blunt of the Depression. Even so, the economic turmoil was taking a toll and the signs of change were astir.

Controversy in Conservation

By the mid-1920s, the West had captivated the imagination of the nation. Popularized in literature and film and suddenly accessible by railroad, this once obscure frontier nearly instantaneously became the premier destination for the modern traveler. Ads appeared newspapers and magazines on both coasts, and few locations offered such natural beauty and adventure as Wyoming.

It was around this time that Yellowstone Superintendent Horace Albright invited John D. Rockefeller Jr., son of the Standard Oil founder and one of the country’s wealthiest men, to tour the Grand Teton area. Albright’s invitation was purposeful and well-calculated. Concerned by the commercialization creeping into the region, he had been working with likeminded landowners on a plan to preserve the area’s vast natural resources. The idea hinged on persuading a conservation investor to purchase surrounding land and donate it to the government to be incorporated into the parks.  As it turned out, Albright’s offer would shape the future of the region and Grand Teton National Park.

In 1926, Albright personally escorted Rockefeller around the valley and provided maps of landownership. At his behest, Rockefeller formed the Snake River Land Company, which began to surreptitiously buy up ranches, often using local agents to conceal the buyer’s identity. Many sellers thought the acquisitions were part of a plan to expand the National Elk Refuge, which had been established in 1912 to support wildlife populations.

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and his wife Abby tour Jackson Lake in the mid-1920s.

In 1930, locals caught wind of the plan, which divided landowners. Many supported the plan to conserve the area’s rugged beauty. Others saw it as a landgrab hatched by the federal government and wealthy East Coast socialites.

Senator Robert Carey, a Wyoming Republican, told Rockefeller’s lawyer, “We are not willing to see this section of Wyoming exploited or its citizens driven out to gratify Mr. Albright’s ambition or to establish a monopoly for the benefit of Mr. Rockefeller’s agents.”

Despite opposition, which included the launch of a weekly newspaper, the Grand Teton, to rail against the expansion, the Snake River Land Co. was successful. It ultimately purchased 33,000 acres at a cost of $1.5 million—the equivalent of about $21 million today. Among the properties purchased was the JY Ranch, which Stewart sold in 1932 for $90,000.

Initially, Rockefeller’s plan to donate his company’s impressive land acquisitions to the government was thwarted by Wyoming’s congressional delegation. In 1942, he wrote Interior Secretary Harold Ickes with a threat to sell his holdings if the federal government didn’t act. That caught the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who in 1943 used the Antiquities Act of 1906 to create the Jackson Hole National Monument.

That, too, drew blowback. In 1943, local ranchers moved a herd of more than 500 cattle across the newly established monument, an act meant to defy the National Park Service. Shortly after, Congress passed a law to abolish the monument, which was vetoed by President Roosevelt. The State of Wyoming filed a motion to challenge the Antiquities Act, but it too was dismissed.

Finally, in 1950, a compromise was struck that exempted Wyoming from the Antiquities Act—ensuring a national monument could only be created in the state with Congressional approval—in return for Grand Teton National Park being expanded to incorporate the Jackson Hole National Monument. The agreement was authorized by President Harry Truman that year.

In 1949, when Rockefeller donated the land purchased through the Snake River Land Co. to the National Park, he withheld roughly 3,400 acres structured around the original JY Ranch. Adopting the JY brand, the private inholding—one of only a few within Grand Teton National Park—became something of a crown jewel for Rockefeller and his family, which would use the property as a private retreat for more than 70 years.

A Legacy as Big as the Mountains

Accessible only by a narrow gravel road and bordered by an unassuming buckrail fend, the Rockefeller’s JY Ranch lived as something of a mystery to the public. Few passed through its impressive but discrete gates, which might be missed by the unaware passerby. Yet, for nearly a quarter-century, this Camelot welcomed distinguished visitors and dignitaries, all by invitation of the Rockefeller family.

Perched atop the rim of Phelps Lake, a glacial lake formed at the base of the Tetons, the ranch painted an impressive sight: A mess hall overlooking the lake, lodges and guest cabins, horse stables and corrals, a private fishing pond, swimming pool, roping arena, boat house and miles of wilderness.

Over the years this remote retreat hosted a laundry list of eminent guests, including President and First Lady Bill and Hillary Clinton in 1995. But for the Rockefellers, an invitation to the ranch wasn’t so much a status symbol as a means to share Jackson Hole’s natural wonder.

“The JY Ranch was an august place, and the Rockefellers went to great lengths to maintain the land,” one former manager explained. “Every aspect of the ranch was meant to complement the local environment. It was obvious the family cared deeply about preserving the heritage and serenity of Jackson Hole.”

Indeed, the passion for the area’s rugged beauty seemed to have been passed down from Rockefeller to his sons, Laurance and David, who continued to run the ranch after his death. Between 1969 and 1983, Laurance transferred approximately 2,300 acres of the JY Ranch into Grand Teton National Park. In 2001, then 91 years old, Laurance announced he would donate the remaining 1,106 acres to the National Park. The transfer was completed in 2007, which put the final private Rockefeller ownership of the ranch into public land.

The boathouse at the JY Ranch before the buildings were dismantled and the property dedicated to Grand Teton National Park. The estate served as a retreat for the Rockefeller family for nearly 70 years.

Today, the more than 1,100 acres of the JY Ranch are enshrined in the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, a popular destination within Grand Teton National Park. The ranch structures have been relocated, many into Park service. At the time of the transfer, Rockefeller explained that he hoped the project would offer a model for public-private partnerships to preserve the country’s open spaces.

Perhaps no other property better embodies the long history and dynamism of Jackson Hole than the JY Ranch. The valley’s culture and heritage seem to permeate the very soil. Now enshrined for generations to come, it would be hard to think of a more fitting coda to the property’s storied legacy than its return to public ownership.

About 97% of the land in Teton County is protected in public lands, thanks largely to conservation efforts of the Rockefeller family.

Sustainability in Fashion: A Passing Fad or the New Standard? {Sustainability in Fashion: A Passing Fad or the New Standard?} – English

Sustainability in Fashion: A Passing Fad or the New Standard? {Sustainability in Fashion: A Passing Fad or the New Standard?} – English

From food to fashion, sustainability has become a forward principle in recent years. Bolstered by a shift towards social accountability, many consumer brands have put a heightened value on doing good with their products—whether that be reducing their environmental footprint, supporting eco-friendly causes or using business models as a vehicle for change.

This trend towards environmental stewardship has been embraced by the fashion world, and, some will say, not only embraced but driven forward. Certainly, the movement has opened a door of opportunity for brands that emphasize ecological responsibility.

Whether proactive or reactive, it makes sense that brands of nearly every caliber have begun to put a priority on environmental stewardship. Global textile production has more than doubled over the past 15 years, according to reports by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. A full 85 percent of discarded clothing ends up in landfills in the United States—a cycle that produces more greenhouse emissions than sea and air shipping combined, Fortune reports.    

Yet, while the fashion industry has made strides towards greater sustainability, progress slowed last year, according to the latest Pulse of the Fashion Industry report. The annual study found that adoption of socially and environmentally conscious practices improved in 2018, but at a slower rate than in 2017. The industry’s score rose four points to 42 out of 100, which was less than the six-point gain a year earlier.

“The fashion industry is still far from sustainable,” a summary of the report states plainly. “Furthermore, the findings demonstrate that fashion companies are not implementing sustainable solutions fast enough to counterbalance the negative environmental and social impacts of the rapidly growing fashion industry.”

The amount of clothing purchased globally each year is expected to rise 63 percent by 2030 to 102 million tons. On the current trajectory, the report notes, that growth will cause the gap between sustainability progress and industry output to widen.

However, many industry leaders see an opportunity to connect with audiences and bolster their brands through elevated sustainability initiatives. Their vision—fewer, better products that reflect consumers’ interest and lifestyles. Less mass production and more personalization.

Sustainability “totally fits with what we believe in,” Anya Hindmarch, founder of the British handbag label told Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International Summit this week. Customers now expect a personal story behind the product, rather than “fast fashion,” she added.

“Nowadays [consumers] don’t just want an object, they want something to talks to them,” said Kristina Blahnik, speaking at the same event.

The approach of designing products targeted to consumers’ interests may be a winning strategy, and one that may help reduce the fashion industry’s footprint. Seventy-three percent of Millennials, the fastest-growing wealth segment, say they are willing to pay more for sustainable brands, according to Neilson’s 2015 Global Corporate Sustainability report. Eighty-one percent say they expect companies they support to make public declarations of corporate responsibility.

More than prior generations, Millennials are not content to simply observe, either. They are more likely to actively engage in the conversation. Nearly three-quarters say they will voice their opinions about a company’s social policies, according to research by Cone Communications, and with the advent of social media, they have a bullhorn to do so.

Certainly, commercial sustainability has ebbed and flowed over the past several decades. But the cultural shift among Millennials—a population that exceeds 80 million in the United States alone and which stands to inherit the largest wealth transfer in history (an estimated $30 trillion from Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers over the next 30 years)—suggests environmental awareness is more than just a passing fad.

How the fashion industry responds may well determine the future of many leading brands—and open the door to newcomers. In an era where experience is its own currency, it seems designers would be wise to follow those leaders who are personalizing their products, and reducing waste in the process.