completion date: summer 2018

Set alongside Colorado’s Tenmile mountain range, this residence serves as a gathering place for an active family.  They imagined a retreat that would accommodate groups of extended family and friends and provide a connection to the landscape and surrounding views for year-round recreation, especially during the ski season.

The site is defined by a dramatic incline, which slopes a total of 50’ in height starting at the front of the property and cresting at the rear.  The building was designed to perch onto the site in the least disruptive way, minimizing the need for expensive cutting or filling.  Using a combination of concrete walls and piloti, the building delicately touches down on the complex topographic landscape and seamlessly integrates with the surrounding forest of Spruce and Douglas Fir.  The positioning of the house arrived from a careful analysis of the everchanging environmental factors present during each season throughout the year.  Capitalizing on available views was paramount and the fenestration was developed to frame the mountain peaks as well as the nearby Blue River Valley.

The home provides multiple living zones, organized around two main axes – the view towards the mountain peaks to the northwest and the view towards the valley to the northeast.  A multi-story stair hall serves as the entrance to the home and separates the private functions from the more public, such as the kitchen, dining and outdoors entertaining areas.  The double-height family room is established between a large window that frames the mountain-view and a formal fireplace, which provides warmth to the main level as well as the mezzanine above. 

The design of the house employs sustainable technologies, including the use of insulated steel panels for the roof and building skin, as well as the incorporation of solar panels, which are oriented south for maximum exposure.  Through a collaboration with Eco Steel, a company specializing in the economies of steel construction, we were able to maximize the use of a steel sub-structure as well as steel insulating panels for the buildings skin.  The steel panels applied to the sloped roofs add insulative value, but also prevent the accumulation of snow due to the lack of material friction.  The wood flooring is recycled from local pine trees that have been damaged by the pernicious mountain pine beetle, thus improving the condition of the local forest.

The overall sequence of spaces, built and natural, synthesize a unique experience for mountain living.  The residence facilitates a year-round retreat for the family, celebrating its connection to mountain, valley and surrounding forest.