A weekend getaway lands lightly on its high-alpine site.
Imagine designing a weekend-getaway at 9000 feet above sea level with direct exposure to near-hurricane force winds coming off the surrounding 13,000 ft. peaks. Add in the homeowner’s wish for unobstructed views of the majestic Rocky Mountains that surround the site. The pristine setting ?which includes a 30 acre meadow and high alpine forests? suggested a design solution that should be as light on the land as possible. So light, that the owners wanted to get as close to net- zero as possible and be nearly maintenance free as well.
What started as an intimate 2 bedroom, 1-1/2 bath cabin for a Colorado couple and their grown children, grew to 3 bedrooms and 3 baths when they began to consider space for their grandchildren.
The couple had owned the property for years-spending weekends there as their two children grew from toddlers to teens. A 1960’s-era stone cabin sufficed, until the pair decided they wanted something more enduring. Having previously seen an Arch11-designed house, the couple decided they wanted a contemporary cabin.
“Conceptually, it was thought of as a concrete plinth, a band of glass and a large roof that is designed to shade the glass,” explains Arch11 principal E.J. Meade of the 2,200 sq. foot cabin.
The living plane is elevated above the ground on a poured-in place concrete pedestal to heighten the experience of floating above the meadow. Floor to ceiling glass offers occupants an almost cinematic experience of the diurnal rhythm of the earth.
The home’s geometric clarity, uncluttered sensibility and transparency provide the synthesis with nature that the homeowners desired.
Sustainable features: Energy model was net-zero energy use, High performance, triple-pane glazing 10 kw solar array, Solar thermal system, Electric boiler with ceramic storage for radiant heat system, Natural ventilation, Large overhangs for shading, Concrete with fly-ash content, FSC-certified lumber, Formaldehyde free cabinets, Energy Star appliances, LED lighting.