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Let your home be one of your legacies

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ML

IN THIS ISSUE

march /april 2012

FEATURES 50

GREEN IS MADE LOCALLY The challenge: Create a prefab house that showcases local talent and really works in a high-country climate. Architecture by Medicine Hat Inc. Interior Design by Shack Up Studio

58

GREEN IS CONSCIENTIOUS The challenge: Grant a client’s wish for a small carbon footprint without skimping on square footage or style. Architecture by K.H. Webb Architects Interior Design by Shari B. Michael Interior Design

66

GREEN IS PARED DOWN The challenge: Design a residence that lives large and treads lightly on the land—in 1,000 square feet or less. Architecture by Carney Logan Burke Architects

70

GREEN IS ADAPTABLE The challenge: Combine the style of an architect-designed home with the sustainability of a prefab structure. Architecture by Lake|Flato Architects

DEPARTMENTS 24

DESIGNER UPDATE Get to know Daniel Louis, curator of Revampt, an eco-chic boutique where every item has a past.

29

SHOPPING Inspired artisans breathe new life into old objects, creating one-of-a-kind “upcycled” goods for your home.

36

TRAVEL Luxury gets LEED-certified at Oregon wine country’s eco-chic Allison Inn & Spa.

40 RESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT AWARDS Discover the spaces that took top honors this year, each defined by a commitment to smart, sustainable design. 40 RESIDENTIAL Missouri Heights Residence, Carbondale, CO 42 TOURISM Walking Mountains Science Center, Avon, CO

80

IN THEIR WORDS Trendsetters in the field of eco-friendly design share their favorite green home accessories.

ON THE COVER Architect John Carney’s guesthouse in Jackson, Wyoming, marries sustainability and style— and makes the most of a small space. For more, turn to page 66. Photography by Matthew Millman

4

ML | March /April 2012

50

Vol. XVIII, No. 2.© 2012 by Network Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint or quote excerpts granted by written request only. Mountain Living ® (ISSN 1088-6451) is published 7 times per year in Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep/Oct, Nov/Dec, by Network Communications Inc. 2305 Newpoint Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30043. Periodical postage paid at Lawrenceville, GA, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Mountain Living® P.O. Box 9002, Maple Shade, NJ 08052-9652. For change of address include old address as well as new address with both ZIP codes. Allow four to six weeks for change of address to become effective. Please include current mailing label when writing about your subscription. Subscriptions: $29.95 for one year; $52.95 for two years. Canada and Mexico add $20 per year. Single copy price: $4.95. Subscription questions, call (888) 645-7600. CPM#40065056. Canada post PM40063731. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Station A, P.O. Box 54, Windsor, ON N9A 6J5.


Photo by David O. Marlow

CELEBRATING

30

YEARS

Photo by Aspen Architectural Photography

Photo by David O. Marlow

OF AWARD WINNING ARCHITECTURE

610 EAST HYMAN AVENUE

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ML

EDITOR’S LETTER

“At work, I have a box for catalogs. I take them home and recycle them—but first, I call the catalog company and unsubscribe.” —Barbara Rainey via FACEBOOK

Some of our favorite design ideas come from you, our loyal readers. So this month, to add to the great “green” finds we’ve gathered for this issue, we asked you how you go green at home and at work. Our blog, Facebook and Twitter

“I’m a residential interiors specialist, and I always offer my clients the opportunity to choose fabrics that are made from sustainable or renewable resources such as bamboo and hemp, manufactured using non-harmful chemicals and non-allergenic dyes, or that have high recycled content. They can also select paints and carpets that have low or no off-gassing.” —Kevin Gray via BLOG.MOUNTAINLIVING.COM

“In our remodeled Boulder, Colorado, home, my husband removed all of our old steel gas lines in order to replace them. I reused the 1inch pipe as a drapery rod for the living room, which holds two panels made from “rejected” fabric from my local drapery workroom. The $120-per-yard fabric had flaws, so my workroom sold it to me for a steal and sewed the panels so the flaws are hidden. We took two items that would have otherwise been tossed and made them the focal point of our living room!” —Virginia Betty via BLOG.MOUNTAINLIVING.COM

pages are filled with your thoughtful replies, from creative decorating ideas to everyday ways to live and work more mindfully. Here are a few of our favorites:

CHRISTINE DEORIO EDITOR IN CHIEF cdeorio @mountainliving.com

“My husband and I both work from home, so our commute is down the hall. I am a professional artist and he works in information security. It was tougher to find him the telecommuting job, but with persistence we did!” —D. Lee via BLOG. MOUNTAINLIVING.COM

HOW DO YOU

GO GREEN? “I am a fine art painter and I make my own paint the ‘old-school’ way by mixing natural earth pigments and egg yolk. Not only is this healthier to breathe, but the paint is far prettier than any acrylic or latex paint.” —Linda Paul Studio,

via BLOG.MOUNTAINLIVING.COM

“Our nonprofit environmental education center offers bus passes for staff, and has winterized an office bike to be used around town for workrelated errands. Through our summer ‘bike board’ program, visitors can track their transportation to and from two of our education centers and get prizes for biking or walking the most throughout the season.”

“We just installed reclaimed barnwood siding and beams in our mountain home. Reusing materials is a great way to recycle, and also adds so much personality to your home.” —Katie Johnson Duncan, via FACEBOOK

“It’s not green ‘design,’ but ever since moving to Colorado I’ve learned to turn off the water while I’m brushing my teeth. Considering our current snow drought, it’s going to make a difference this year!” —Kimberly McGill Wolfe via FACEBOOK

6

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ML | March /April 2012

PORTRAIT BY DEBORAH COTA

—The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies via BLOG.MOUNTAINLIVING.COM


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ML | March /April 2012

President & CFO GERRY PARKER General Counsel SUSAN DEESE


ML

ONLINE

ONLINE THIS MONTH

[

WEB mountainliving.com BLOG blog.mountainliving.com FACEBOOK Mountain Living Magazine TWITTER @MtnLivingMag

Love the Aspen home featured on page 58? Learn more about its wheelchair-accessible design at mountainliving.com/ conscientious

Check out this issue’s homes at mountainliving.com to find the products you need to get the look!

Watch the prefab house featured on page 50 come to life in a step-by-step photo tour, including its road trip across Montana, at mountainliving.com/ madelocally

We found more gorgeous upcycled home accessories than we could fit in this issue! Browse them at pinterest.com/mtnlivingmag/ upcycled-goods

Get a behind-thescenes look at our photo shoot at upcycled-goods boutique Revampt, and discover more “green” home furnishings at mountainliving.com/ highstylesalvage

ABSOLUTELY HANDMADE Hand-forged iron & solid bronze hardware

HARDWARERENAISSANCE.COM 10

ML | March /April 2012

Don’t know a CFC from a VOC? Check out our online glossary of the most common (and confusing) “green” terms.

Take a look back at one of ML readers’ all-time favorite “green” high-country homes, here: mountainliving.com/ stylishand sustainable


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DESIGNER UPDATE

HIGH-STYLE A YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR BRINGS HIP, UPCYCLED HOME DÉCOR TO AN UNLIKELY SPOT IN DENVER, ALL IN THE NAME OF CREATIVE, CONSCIENTIOUS DESIGN STORY BY CAROLINE EBERLY PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARTIN CRABB

24

ML | March /April 2012

STEP INSIDE HOME-FURNISHINGS BOUTIQUE REVAMPT AND YOU’LL Step inside home-furnishings boutique ReFIND and A TREASURE TROVEtrove OF of ITEMS, vampt you’ll find a treasure items, once defunct and unlovely, now resurrected to new purpose and beauty: bicycle tire tubes woven into coin purses and backpacks, railroad spikes turned bottle openers, tables made of wood reclaimed from an old cabin, and old bowling pins standing in as lamp bases. “When I was a kid I would always find stuff and make it into other things,” says shop owner Daniel Louis, “and that’s what Revampt is all about.” But Louis considers more than just the environmental factor when selecting his inventory. “First and foremost, it has to be salvaged and reclaimed,” he says. “But it also has to have a history.” Therein lies the spirit of the boutique. When customers can identify clues to an object’s former life, Louis says, their creativity is sparked. Revampt attracts a “do-it-yourself” clientele who feel inspired to take on similar upcycling projects at home, or turn to Revampt’s artisans to commission one-of-a-kind pieces. “It’s fun to see people’s minds open up, to watch them foster their own creativity as they develop the piece they want for themselves,” Louis says. Before he could open shop, Louis had to complete his own upcycling project: the renovation of the boutique’s 100-year-old shell that was most recently a dentist’s office. “We wanted to keep the integrity of the building,” says Louis, who called in a little help from longtime family friend Keir Myers, who had recently earned a business degree, to launch the concept. After the two drew up a business plan, they poured some serious sweat into practicing the shop’s philosophy, spending nearly four months chipping away at four or five layers of flooring to get down to the original pine, and tearing out the old insulation and ceiling to expose existing brick. Some may be surprised by the store’s location in the heart of Denver’s swanky Cherry Creek North shopping district, which draws upscale boutiques, designer retailers and well-heeled shoppers. “We didn’t want to target an ecominded demographic,” Louis explains. “If we opened Revampt in Boulder, our customers would be familiar with the concept. We want to be ahead of the curve.” revamptgoods.com ○

PHOTOS BY MARTIN CRABB

SALVAGE


BOWLING PIN LAMP by Breck Armstrong

WINE BOTTLE LIGHT by Jerry Kott

HANDBAGS by Kim White

COFFEE TABLE by Ben Dagitz

A bowling pin that dates back to a time when the pieces were made exclusively of wood takes on a new role in a lighting fixture. Lending a shapely silhouette to the body of the lamp, the pin has been sanded, welded to a base and wired for electrical. The piece fits seamlessly with Revampt’s philosophy, which is all about honoring an object’s roots. $315; mossstudiosinc.com

This wine-bottle pendant light was one of Louis and Myers’ first finds, and a trio of the lights now hangs above the cashier at Revampt. Comprised of sections of different wine bottles, the fixture is an artistic puzzle. “Kott has to find bottles that will fit together perfectly, then he cuts them into pieces, fuses them together, sandblasts them to achieve a fluid color and runs the electrical,” Louis says. From the RE series. Starts at $190; jerrykott.com

L.A.-based artist Kim White made a serendipitous discovery when she purchased an old warehouse filled with vintage automobile upholstery she’d need to dispose of as part of the deal. Instead of tossing the textiles, the former designer used the inventory to experiment with making handbags. Durable and groovy, White’s bags come with a tag that reveals the year and make of the car they used to inhabit (the plaid print shown is from a ’78 Mustang). Others are constructed from vintage floral textiles from the 1950s through ’70s. $165-$275; kimwhitehandbags.com

This coffee table is made of wood reclaimed from an old cabin in Central City, Colorado, and a salvaged window, which hinges open to reveal storage inside. The artist, who works with Revampt customers to create custom pieces, finds and buys wood in large quantities so his pieces share a common aesthetic. “He takes advantage of the characteristics of the wood to make his pieces shine,” Louis says. $1,585; bdagitzfurniture.com

ML | www.mountainliving.com 25


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SHOPPING

green lights RUST, DUST AND A DENT HERE AND THERE DIDN’T STOP THE ARTISANS BEHIND THESE UPCYCLED LIGHTS FROM MAKING OLD MATERIALS SHINE

3

1

4

1. Oh, if lamps could talk! Enjoy imagining just how the VINTAGE OLYMPIC BEVERAGE CONTAINER LAMP got those scratches and dents. Benclif Designs, $95; benclifdesigns.com

5

2. The classic elegance of a Victorian-era chandelier meets discarded bicycle parts in the spectacular CONNECT 8 CHANDELIER. Carolina Fontoura Alzaga, $2,300; facaro.com

3. One man’s trash—a vintage wagon-wheel hub—becomes your treasure: the SIMPLY MODERN WHEEL HUB PENDANT. Junkyard Lighting, $109; junkyardlighting.com 2

4. Who knew fluorescent bulbs could be so cool? The RECYCLED TUBE LIGHT PENDANT displays a burnt-out bundle in a whole new light. Y Lighting, $1,950; ylighting.com

6

5. Full of personality, the funky KOZO 20 desk lamp is made of galvanized iron pipe and turns on with the flip of a faucet-handle switch. Kozo Lamp, $379; kozo-lamp.com 6. Here’s a new take on the reading light: The HARDBACK BOOK LAMP turns any tome into a unique work of art. Typewriter Boneyard, $150; typewriterboneyard.com >> ML | www.mountainliving.com 29


Our 35th Annual Spring Sale. Namasté. A 35-year tradition, our March storewide sale is just one way we can honor you, our customers, for your exceptional loyalty and exquisite taste. Come in and save 15 to 30% on the finest collections of linens and furnishings in the world. Everything we sell, in-stock, on-line or custom-ordered, is on sale. With sale pricing and complimentary professional design services, it’s a mind and body connection you never dreamed possible.

Bed | Bath | Baby | Table

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ML

SHOPPING 1

1. The AVALON CHAISE is a study in contrasts: a curve of wood slats salvaged from an 1800s farmhouse paired with reclaimed steel tubing. Unite Two Design, $2,512; unitetwodesign.com 2. The name says it all: The WOODEN HEAP SIDEBOARD hides plenty of smart storage in what appears to be a mere stack of wood. Boris Lab, EUR 20,000; borislab.com 3. The BLOOM COFFEE TABLE’s organic resin top is cantilevered atop a salvaged tree stump— and guaranteed to drop jaws. MTH Woodworks, $3,900 CAD; mthwoodworks.com from the landfill, presses it with resin into a mold, and out comes the SHAVINGS COFFEE TABLE. $2,000; yoavavinoam.com

out of the woods

5. Wood scraps collected from cabinet and door makers mix and match to form the dynamic, dimensional TRAIL MIX WALL TILE. Everitt & Schilling Co., $40 per square foot; eandstile.com

RESCUED WOOD IN ITS MANY FORMS, FROM SAWDUST TO STUMPS TO SLABS, GETS A NEW LEASE ON LIFE IN THESE INGENIOUS FURNITURE DESIGNS

4. Artist Yoav Avinoam rescues sawdust waste 2

6

6. The sleek INDUSTRIA BENCH, which can stand in as a coffee table too, shows off reclaimed old-growth wood and recycled steel. Upcycler, $4,200; upcycler.etsy.com 3

7. Striking in its simplicity, the INDUSTRIAL WOOD LAMP combines a scrap of salvaged hardwood and a bare filament bulb. Luke Lamp Co., $109; lukelampco.etsy.com ○

7

4 5

ML | www.mountainliving.com 31


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“I choose InsulStarÂŽ high performance spray foam insulation.â€? The Sater Group has been creating unique homes for special people for over twenty-ďŹ ve years and environmental stewardship has always been important to our ďŹ rm. We place a special emphasis on sustainable design, so I choose InsulStarÂŽ high performance spray foam insulation. InsulStarÂŽ maximizes the efďŹ ciency of the building envelope, lasts for the life of the home, and provides superior comfort. It’s a natural choice for our home designs. Because great design should come with peace of mind. Dan F. Sater II, AIBD, CGP

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ML

TRAVEL

GREEN GETAWAY The Allison Inn & Spa may be the swankiest spot in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, but make no mistake, the LEED Gold-certified resort is doing its part to conserve water and energy, eliminate waste, and support local habitats and communities STORY BY CHRISTINE DEORIO

36

ML | March /April 2012


Top Tastes Eco-Attributes

The Look Eco-sleek, with an emphasis on the practical and timeless. On the inn’s exterior, mossy rock mixes with copper, glass and low-maintenance engineered wood. Inside, customcrafted furnishings and fabrics in glowy hues of lichen, bark, berry and pear reflect the colors of neighboring vineyards and farmland.

Some eco-friendly features you’ll notice, like the rooftop solar panels and the westwing roof that’s planted with sedum to slow storm-water runoff, but most are invisible. Spa-inspired bathrooms are fitted with low-flow showerheads and faucets, plus highefficiency toilets to reduce water use. To minimize energy consumption in unoccupied rooms, computerized controls deactivate the electricity and power-down heating or cooling when you check out.

Neighborhood The inn’s 35 acres of lush gardens—featuring drought-tolerant native species and plenty of paths for wandering—are located right in the middle of Oregon wine country. It’s an easy jaunt to 200 wineries, plus restaurants, shops and outdoor adventures, from mountain biking to hot-air ballooning. Downtown Portland is 45 minutes away.

Room to Request All of the 85 rooms and suites have a gas fireplace, terrace or balcony with hillside or vineyard view, cozy window seat and artwork by local artisans. In each spa-style bathroom, a wall of frosted glass slides open to allow TV viewing from the large soaking tub. Book a deluxe one-bedroom suite on the penthouse level for the best valley or vineyard views.

At JORY Restaurant, chef Sunny Jin combines techniques honed at the French Laundry and El Bulli with produce from local growers— and the inn’s half-acre chef’s garden—to create menus that celebrate seasonality and flavors native to the Willamette Valley. After guests enjoy sips from the 800-label wine list (including seven pages of Oregon Pinot Noirs alone, plus many organic and biodynamic options), bottles are recycled into beautiful handmade glassware by local company Rebootle.

PHOTOS COURTESY THE ALLISON INN & SPA

WANT TO GO RIGHT NOW? VISIT IN MARCH OR APRIL AND ENJOY THE “RAINDROPS & RAINBOWS” PACKAGE: DELUXE ACCOMMODATIONS, BREAKFAST IN BED, A CANDLELIT BATH, A BOTTLE OF OREGON PINOT NOIR (AND MUCH MORE ) FROM $357/ NIGHT.

DON’T MISS No amount of Willamette Valley wine can put you at ease like the stylish spa’s Grape Seed Cure, a crushed-grape-seed scrub followed by an organichoney-and-wine wrap and shea butter massage. The Oregon Rain Shower treatment will make you a believer in rain therapy. PRICE POINT The smallest of the inn’s spacious guest rooms (490 square feet) start at $305 a night; the 1,575-square-foot Grand Suite, with two bedrooms, butler’s pantry and a dining room for six, starts at $1,100. DETAILS The Allison Inn & Spa, Newburg, OR, theallison.com, 503-554-2525 ○

ML | www.mountainliving.com 37


For your home. For your life. For your environment.

Imagine Kitchen & Baths 8130 S. University Blvd #155 Centennial, CO 80122 303-773-1311 www.imaginekitchensandbaths.net Kitchens at the Denver 761 Kalamath Street Denver, CO 80204 303-629-0119 www.kitchensofcolorado.com Timberline Kitchen & Bath 1842 S. Broadway Denver, CO 80210 303-777-6788 www.timberlinekitchens.com

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ML | March /April 2012


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Responsible Development Award Winner RESIDENTIAL

Missouri Heights Residence An architect specializing in “design with a conscience” builds his own contemporary home with cutting-edge efficiency and maximum livability in mind

STORY BY ELIZA CROSS When Doug Graybeal, principal of Graybeal Architects in Carbondale, Colorado, and his wife Peggy decided to build a new energy-efficient home, they saw it as an opportunity to showcase cost-effective and environmentally friendly features and materials. “We wanted to show people the sustainable and energy-efficient ideas and technology that can be executed within a reasonable budget,” Graybeal says. The couple’s 3,000-square-foot, straw-bale-construction home was carefully sited on a plateau on the north side of the Roaring Fork Valley, facing stunning views of the Elk Mountain Range. The floor plan features an open space for living, dining and cooking, with southern exposure to take full advantage of passive solar gain. “Because we spend most of our time in the spaces that get the sun, we’re more in tune with nature and what’s going on outside,” Graybeal says. A two-foot-thick castearth wall anchors the home, creating a thermal mass that reduces interior temperature swings.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAMES RAY SPAHN

“We lived in the house for a couple of years to determine our electrical needs, then expanded the photovoltaic roof system,” Graybeal says. Today that system generates enough power annually to meet 100 percent of the home’s electrical needs. Excess energy is fed into the grid, and when sunlight isn’t available, energy can be sourced from the grid. The home’s palette of innovative, eco-friendly building materials includes structural insulated panels for the garage and upper-level roofs, paper-based Richlite countertops, formaldehyde-free wheatboard shelving, recycled glass tiles in the master bath shower, Colorado red sandstone for the hearth and bathroom countertop, and accents of black steel with recycled content. Nearly all of the materials were produced in the United States. “My definition of sustainability encompasses not only the environmental impact of extracting and transporting materials, but also the impact on the people involved in the manufacturing process,” Graybeal says. ○

GRAYBEAL ARCHITECTS, CARBONDALE, CO, GRAYBEALARCHITECTS.COM 40

ML | March /April 2012


To minimize the impact on the terrain, architect Doug Graybeal sited his home on an abandoned road cut. The main level— constructed using eco-friendly straw-bale exterior walls— features a roof planted with native species that provide natural insulation and reduce storm-water runoff. Other roof areas and the upper-level siding are clad with low-maintenance, recycledcontent corrugated metal that has been allowed to rust naturally.

GREEN FEATURES For south-facing windows, architect Doug Graybeal specified maximum glazing to capitalize on passive solar heating. Overhangs and reflective light shelves help prevent overheating in warmer months and bounce daylight into the interior. Two solar water collectors meet the home’s domestic hot water needs. Backup heat is provided by a high-efficiency compact boiler, which powers a radiantheat system in the concrete floors. A heat recovery ventilation (HRV) system provides air exchange and bathroom ventilation. A water feature in the main living area was created from a remnant piece of granite and provides ambient noise and humidity while also cleaning the air. The couple grows organic vegetables, fruits and herbs year-round in a passive solar greenhouse that takes full advantage of the thermal mass of 10-foot water tubes, concrete planters and a thick concrete floor. Hot air from the top of the greenhouse is circulated down through rock beds under the soil for additional thermal storage. ML | www.mountainliving.com 41


Responsible Development Award Winner TOURISM

Walking Mountains Science Center An innovative teaching campus is a model of inspired design, sustainable land use and cutting-edge efficiency

STORY BY ELIZA CROSS When your classroom is the great outdoors, how do you build a school? Conceptualizing a design that honored its setting was the first of many goals for the Walking Mountains Science Center, a nonprofit organization devoted to inspiring environmental stewardship through natural science education. After 13 years of teaching students in the field, the center recently received a generous donation of a five-acre site in Avon, Colorado, on which to build a new campus. With access to Buck Creek, a spring-fed pond, wetlands areas and National Forest land, this new gathering place would offer spaces indoors and out for learning and research. Together with the center’s executive director Markian Feduschak, the project team developed key “points of consensus” to guide the center’s design—from creating a strong indooroutdoor relationship that would encourage discovery and hands-on exploration, to utilizing environmental construction techniques that would serve as a model for green building. Brian Sipes of Avon-based Zehren & Associates was selected as the project architect to bring the vision to reality, and the firm

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANN COFFEY

collaborated with Seattle-based Mithun, a team of architects nationally recognized as sustainable design experts. “We made a conscious decision to create three buildings that were unconnected, because going outdoors is part of the experience that supports the center’s core values,” Sipes says. “We also wanted to unify the exhibits, buildings and site as one experience, because kids are natural explorers.” The completed Mountain Discovery Center features interactive exhibits, a beaver lodge, classroom facilities and a “building dashboard” that shows the building’s real-time water and energy usage and production. The Meadow Learning Studio is a one-room classroom/laboratory surrounded by wetlands and meadow, and the Field Studies Base Camp offers additional classroom and event space. LEED Platinum certification is being sought for the center, which uses 70 to 85 percent less energy than a typical building of its size and use. “We focused a lot of attention on the thermal envelope,” Sipes says. “Our motto was, ‘Seal tight, insulate right.’” ○

ZEHREN & ASSOCIATES, AVON, CO, ZEHREN.COM; WALKINGMOUNTAINS.ORG 42

ML | March /April 2012


The Walking Mountains Science Center was designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the highest rating awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. Sited for optimal active and passive solar collection, the Discovery Center (left) features shading devices and a shallow north-to-south profile that helps naturally ventilate and cool the building. Its operable windows, made in Colorado, are two to three times more efficient than code requires. Portions of the building’s façade are clad with Colorado beetle-kill pine siding coated with a lowVOC water-based stain that is waterrepellant and UV- and rot-resistant.

GREEN FEATURES To prevent unwanted air infiltration, regulate moisture and dramatically reduce energy consumption, the building envelope is protected with spray-foam and cellulose insulation. The walls are R-40 and the roof is R-75. To minimize the use of fossil fuels, a central heating plant for all three buildings utilizes solar thermal collectors, a ground-source heat-pump system and a 96-percent-efficient gas boiler. 33.4-kWh of rooftop solar photovoltaic panels generate electricity. Solar-thermal collectors heat the center’s domestic hot water. Software tracks the center’s consumption of water, gas, electricity and heat in real time and displays the information on a touch-screen exhibit near the entry. Automatic lighting controls adjust depending on the amount of available natural light and turn off when spaces are unoccupied.

ML | www.mountainliving.com 43


ARCHITECT & DESIGNER FINDS LUXURY ARCHITECTS AND DESIGNERS

VERTICAL ARTS ARCHITECTURE Your home is what we will craft together; living spaces both inside and out designed to echo the character and soulfulness that color your world. Situated in the heart of America’s mountain country, Vertical Arts is a team of hand-selected, highly talented architectural, interior and landscape professionals inspired by a shared devotion to creativity and finesse. VERTICAL-ARTS.COM

PHOTOS BY GIBEON PHOTOGRAPHY

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CEDAR MOUNTAIN We Finish What Mother Nature Started. Cedar Mountain creates one-of-a-kind, heirloomquality vanities, kitchen islands, fireplace mantels, tables and more for the home. No two pieces are ever alike, and each is customized to your specifications and handcrafted in the United States. Sinks start at $1,999. Call us at 877-423-7686 or visit CEDARMOUNTAINCOLLECTION.COM

A MOUNTAIN LIVING SPECIAL SECTION


ARCHITECT & DESIGNER FINDS LUXURY ARCHITECTS AND DESIGNERS

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TKP ARCHITECTS For more than 20 years, TKP Architects has been designing high-end, awardwinning custom homes for the West’s most discriminating clients. This residence, situated on a stunning mountain site, called for an entertaining space that allowed its owners to experience the scenery while enjoying the fireplace, television and pool table. The same spectacular views can be seen from the sleek raised bar, glass-enclosed wine room and wine-tasting table. Backlit art glass and sophisticated lighting design enliven the space in the evenings. TKPARCH.COM

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GRACE HOME DESIGN Interior designer Jennifer Visosky creates spaces dripping in color and imaginative pattern play. Her fresh vision and eye for the details have launched her design work all over the country. Visosky shares with her clients the ideas and resources that she finds exciting and inspiring. Her firm, Grace Home Design, Inc., offers consulting and full-scale interiors. GRACEHOMEDESIGN.COM

A MOUNTAIN LIVING SPECIAL SECTION


DESIGN FINDS LUXURY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES FOR YOUR HOME

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WOODLAND CREEK FURNITURE Let the artisans at Woodland Creek handcraft a unique piece of furniture for you. Designs range from modern mountain to elegant rustic, and custom furniture is our specialty. See more than 2,500 proprietary furniture designs at WOODLANDCREEKFURNITURE.COM

FIRE ON DEMAND Let the artisans at Fire On Demand design and build a one-of-a-kind fire pit especially for you. Every log set is sculpted out of steel at our Breckenridge, Colorado facility. Shipping available nationwide. Pictured fire pit: $6,750 FIREONDEMAND.COM

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RANCH GATES Located in the Wapiti Valley between Cody, Wyoming, and Yellowstone National Park, Ranch Gates has been building fences for more than 20 years. We transport all materials–archway logs, handmade gates and hardware, and lodgepole fence and posts—to any site in the United States. Our crew will erect your fence, or you can assemble it yourself using our easy-to-follow personalized instructions. Contact us at 307587-5929 or 307-899-5929 (cell), or visit us at our resort near Yellowstone National Park. To learn more about Ranch Gates, visit ranchgates.com. For more information about our resort, visit redpoleranch.com.

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A MOUNTAIN LIVING SPECIAL SECTION

LAKE STEVENS SLEIGH COMPANY We design and build high-quality distressed sleigh fixtures for rustic and mountain structures. Our unique, built-green sleighs are the perfect addition to your mountain home or business. LAKESTEVENSSLEIGH.COM


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Latest

PROMOTION

the

STYLE LIFE HOME

SUMMIT COUNTY’S PINNACLE MOUNTAIN HOMES NAMED “AMERICA’S BEST BUILDER” Builder magazine has named Colorado-based Pinnacle Mountain Homes “America’s Best Builder” for 2012. The award was given to companies in four categories: production builders, community developers, spec builders and custom builders. Pinnacle, based in Summit County, took honors in the custom home-building category. Entrants were judged by a panel of industry peers, who based their evaluations on finances and operations, design and construction, customer service and quality, industry and community service, and marketing. “To achieve one of the industry’s top awards within six years of starting Pinnacle is a great accomplishment for our company,” president Chris Renner says. PINNACLEMTNHOMES.COM

TKP ARCHITECTS WELCOMES NEW DESIGN TALENT Golden, Colorado-based TKP Architects is delighted to announce the addition of awardwinning Colorado residential designer Steve Sall to its design team. The founding principal of Sall Residential Design Group, Steve has designed many beautiful and well-known Colorado homes, including those of former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan and former Denver Nuggets player Carmelo Anthony. TKPARCH.COM

THE WHEELER OPERA HOUSE AND PRODUCING PARTNER (AND ROCK LEGEND) JOHN OATES ANNOUNCE THE THIRD ANNUAL 7908 ASPEN SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL MARCH 21 – MARCH 25, 2012. The 7908 Aspen Songwriters Festival returns to Aspen this year with a new slate of songwriters representing musical styles that range from Appalachian Americana to Alt-Rock and Pop. Enjoy 13 performances at the nation’s most intimate musical weekend. For tickets, call 866-449-0464 or visit aspenshowtix.com.

AIA DENVER ANNOUNCES WINNER OF HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF COLORADO DESIGN-BUILD COMPETITION The American Institute of Architects Denver Chapter has announced the winner of its design-build competition for Habitat for Humanity of Colorado (HFHC)/Blue Spruce Habitat for Humanity (BSHFH). Members of the winning team are Molly Blakley, Assoc. AIA; Alan Ford, AIA; Kathy Ford, AIA; and Matt Weaver, Assoc. AIA. The Architect of Record is Denver-based Alan Ford Architects, P.C. In 2012, BSHFH will break ground on the winning duplex design, furthering the HFHC mission to create simple, decent, affordable housing. “No matter what the budget of a project is, the approach is always to create high-quality space,” Weaver says. “Our goal is to bring in daylight, provide fresh air and carefully consider the possible uses of each space.”

AIADENVERDESIGNBUILD.ORG

YVES SAINT LAURENT: THE RETROSPECTIVE COMES TO DENVER MARCH 25, 2012–JULY 8, 2012 Iconic fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent revolutionized the way women dress, and now a collection of his works representing 40 years of creativity is coming to the Denver Art Museum, the only U.S. venue to host the event. Don’t miss this stunning exhibition, March 25-July 8, 2012, which features a selection of 200 haute couture ensembles, along with numerous photographs, drawings and films that illustrate the development of Saint Laurent’s style and the foundations of his work. The show melds design and art, starting with Saint Laurent’s 1958 beginnings at Dior and continuing through the splendor of his final runway collection in 2002. For more information, visit YSLDENVER.COM .


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GREEN IS

MADE LOCALLY THE CHALLENGE: DESIGN A PREFABRICATED HOUSE THAT REALLY WORKS IN A HIGH-COUNTRY CLIMATE—AND SHOWCASES MONTANA’S UNIQUE CRAFTSPEOPLE AND MATERIALS

STORY BY CAREN KURLANDER 50

PHOTOGRAPHY BY AUDREY HALL

STYLED BY STEPHANIE SANDSTON


Interior designer Stephanie Sandston of Shack Up Studio and architect E.J. Engler of Medicine Hat Inc. designed a family retreat in Montana’s Ruby Valley that recalls old ranch houses of the area, while showcasing sustainable prefabricated building methods. Engler sourced materials locally, including Douglas fir siding and stone for a massive fireplace wall, and let overhanging shed roofs provide cooling shade. The front entrance offers views straight through the glassed-in living area to the Ruby Mountain Range. 51


ARCHITECTURE BY MEDICINE HAT INC.

INTERIOR DESIGN BY SHACK UP STUDIO

WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED THAT A FORMER CAREER IN FILM DESIGN WOULD PREPARE INTERIOR DESIGNER STEPHANIE SANDSTON TO CREATE A PREFABRICATED HOME ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF SUSTAINABLE DESIGN? “My whole world was prefab,” says the principal of Bozeman-based interior and furniture design firm Shack Up Studio. “The idea of modular building and how things fit together has always made perfect sense to me.” So when her longtime clients Paul and Jeanne Moseley began talking about building a prefabricated house near the Ruby Springs Lodge, the exclusive fly-fishing retreat the couple owns in Montana’s Ruby Valley, she was ready to help. “I started doing research for them, but nothing was developed in the prefab world that was appropriate for Montana weather,” Sandston says. “The available finishes weren’t what they were interested in, either. We wanted something that had the feel of an old 1950s ranch house.” So she introduced her clients to architect E.J. Engler of the design/build firm Medicine Hat Inc., and they began work on the house they envisioned. The plan was to build a house with a small footprint and to make it as green, and as connected to its surroundings, as possible. As Sandston lives next door to Engler’s studio in a small town just outside of Bozeman, Montana, their proximity presented a unique opportunity. “The Ruby Valley is about an hour-and-a-half drive from Bozeman,” Sandston explains. “If we were to drive out to the site every day, the amount of fossil fuel used would be ridiculous.” To save on vehicle trips, and to keep close to local craftspeople and suppliers, the two decided to build the house on two adjacent empty lots and then move it to the Moseleys’ property. “When you factor in site visits and our ability to evolve and improve the design on a daily basis and control the fit and finish, we easily paid for the move,” Engler says. Building the house in their backyards also allowed Sandston and Engler to collaborate closely as the design evolved. “The Moseleys had a pretty good idea of what they wanted,” Engler says. “Their style is very Western-modern.”

FACING PAGE: A powder-coated yellow garage door rises up to connect the dining area with a large cedar deck. For a new take on the traditional picnic table, Sandston paired a naturaledge walnut top with a steel base and added wheels so it can roll outside in nice weather. Two vintage Paul McCobb chairs are paired with outdoor stacking chairs by HighTower. Inspired by the region’s horse culture, Sandston designed seat cushions from saddle pad felt and leather. The flooring is from Globus Cork. 52

Engler translated that aesthetic into a 1,880-square-foot structure with locally sourced Douglas fir siding, large expanses of glass and shed roofs inspired by the region’s agrarian buildings. Inside, where two bedroom sections flank the open, central living areas, Sandston sheathed walls in plywood, “a nod to the simple materials used in 1950s ranch homes,” and chose eco-friendly cork and Marmoleum for the floors. “A lot of the prefabs that are available have a cold feel,” she notes. “We wanted to give this house texture so it would feel more dynamic and grounded in the West.” The house also has a dynamic way of engaging the landscape. “They have an incredible mountain view to the west,” says Engler, “but in the afternoon they get hammered by the sun.” He found a creative solution to that challenge. The nearly net-zero-energy house generates all the energy it can use for heating and cooling through ground-source geothermal pumps powered by photovoltaic solar panels. This allowed Engler to focus less on insulation and more on the view. Stretches of Loewen low-E windows and sliding doors frame the mountains. So does—at the client’s request—a yellow powder-coated aluminum garage door, which rolls up to let the dining area spill out onto a large cedar deck. To temper the sun without obscuring the view, Engler designed slatted screens from reclaimed Douglas fir. The screens move back and forth on metal barn-door sliders in front of the bedrooms, and three more screens extend past the roof over the deck. Hydraulic cylinders raise and lower the screens as needed. “Because the Moseleys wanted to live indoors and outdoors, we decided to open the walls and create furniture that would roll in and out of the house,” Sandston says. To make that possible, she designed pieces that would be equally comfortable by the wood stove in the living room and the fireplace on the deck—and added wheels to them. Sofas covered with Holly Hunt outdoor fabric and a steel dining table with a reclaimed walnut top roll through the open garage door for outside gatherings by the fireplace. “The Moseleys are very playful and open-minded,” says Sandston, who designed lighthearted details throughout the house to cater to that spirit while “bringing in more of the local ranch feel.” Bright yellow barn doors separate bedrooms, custom leather saddle-seats cushion the dining chairs and stylized antlers adorn drapery fabric. “We had fun in every single way that we could.” ○


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Engler used reclaimed Douglas fir from Big Timberworks in Gallatin Gateway to build screens on the western deck that, when lowered, filter the strong afternoon sun. FACING PAGE: In the living area, an Arne Jacobsen Egg chair and HighTower’s Sputnik table stand among Sandston’s custom designs. She worked with Bombast Furniture to design indoor/outdoor sofas made of salvaged maple and natural urethane foam, and created an antler-pattern fabric, which Bozeman’s John Tate Workroom turned into drapes. Sandston and Engler collaborated on the oversized veneer-and-steel counterweight light fixture.

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“ THE LANGUAGE OF THE WEST REALLY COMES FROM THE WORKING TRADITIONS OF THE WEST, FROM RANCHING TO FARMING. OUR AIM WAS TO TELL THAT STORY IN A MODERN WAY.” STEPHANIE SANDSTON

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Sandston designed a new leather seat— and brand incorporating the Shack Up Studio logo—for a 1950s chair. Engler and Sandston in the kitchen, which features Eco-Gres tiles and an Eco-Terr countertop. Sandston worked with Bozeman-based metalworker Brandner Design on custom mirrors made from model A truck rims for the kids’ bathroom. The kitchen looks out to the living area, which is warmed by a Rais wood stove. The master bathroom’s stock tank tub, made by Engler, can be rolled outside. FACING PAGE: Custom hydraulic mechanisms that raise and lower the screens were made using Caterpillar excavator and tractor parts.

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more Visit mountainliving.com /madelocally to watch this home come to life in a stepby-step photo tour, and for a guide to its products and pros.


“ WHEN YOU’RE STANDING INSIDE THE BUILDING, THERE’S NOTHING BETWEEN YOU AND THE MOUNTAIN HORIZON SEVEN MILES AWAY. ” E.J. ENGLER

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GREEN IS

CONSCIENTIOUS THE CHALLENGE: GRANT A HOMEOWNER’S WISH FOR A SMALL CARBON FOOTPRINT WITHOUT SKIMPING ON SQUARE FOOTAGE OR STYLE

STORY BY MINDY PANTIEL 58

PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIMBERLY GAVIN


Located near Aspen, Colorado, on an old 2,500-acre cattle ranch that has since been subdivided, the Sakins’ residence is surrounded by pristine open space. Keeping sustainability in mind, the homeowners and architect Kyle Webb selected a palette of natural and regional materials including reclaimed siding, Colorado stone and timber beams. 59


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ARCHITECTURE BY K.H. WEBB ARCHITECTS

INTERIOR DESIGN BY SHARI B. MICHAEL INTERIOR DESIGN

SALLY SAKIN IS THE FIRST TO ADMIT THAT SHE AND HER HUSBAND CRAIG HAD VERY DIFFERENT IDEAS ABOUT WHAT THEIR HOME IN COLORADO’S ROARING FORK VALLEY SHOULD LOOK LIKE. “He wanted something more dark and rustic, but I wanted bright, open, airy spaces that frame the spectacular views of Mt. Sopris on one side and the stunning red rock vistas on the other,” she says. There were, however, two key goals about which the transplanted New Yorkers were in total accord: their residence would be environmentally conscious and thoughtfully designed to meet the needs of Arden, their 17-year-old daughter who has cerebral palsy. “Because it’s a large house, the Sakins insisted on doing everything possible to offset their carbon footprint,” says architect Kyle Webb of Vail-based K.H. Webb Architects, who incorporated solar panels to heat the domestic hot water, a gray-water-reclamation system, and a rainwater-reclamation system that channels storm water from the roof to use for irrigating the landscape. The couple’s resolve is apparent throughout their mountain-contemporary home. After agreeing that the palette would consist of rustic materials with clean lines, they selected reclaimed spruce siding, standing-dead timbers, zinc paneling, concrete and Colorado sandstone, all assembled under an ultra-durable zinc roof. To control the amount of heat lost and gained through the home’s floor-to-ceiling windows, Webb specified double-glazed, low-E windows that are treated with a special sun-modulating coating. “The walls are super-insulated with cellulose, and there’s extensive crossventilation for natural cooling,” he says. The design is so efficient, in fact, that the home’s supplemental air-conditioning system has never been used.

FACING PAGE: A cozy seating area in the living room includes a Berkshire sofa from David Sutherland, upholstered armchairs from Baker, and Hourglass lounge chairs by Berman Rosetti. The walnut-and-nickel Moribana coffee table is by Jiun Ho and the custom Tibetan rug is by Odegard. Floor-toceiling windows reveal breathtaking views of Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley.

The same care was taken outdoors. Located on 35 acres, the five-acre building envelope that surrounds the house is sculpted to ensure privacy, and the planted landscape features drought-tolerant junipers, blue fescue and other grasses. “I knew I had to pick plants that would work with the wind, dry air and altitude,” says Sally, a serious gardener who tends to the plantings herself. The ranch abuts Bureau of Land Management open space, affording the family easy access to horseback riding trails. “Equine therapy is important for Arden, but we all love to ride,” she says. The family’s horses are stabled in barns powered by a photovoltaic array and designed to mimic the architecture of the main house. Webb and the homeowners embraced issues of accessibility with equal intensity. “We wanted anyone with a disability to be able to access every part of the house, including the patio and gardens,” Webb says. To achieve this, all the main living areas are contained on one level and door jambs were painstakingly eliminated, making it easy for wheelchair and cane users to go from inside to out. “We had Arden test everything,” Webb adds. New York-based interior designer Shari Michael also weighed sustainability and accessibility when choosing the home’s furnishings, which incorporate all-natural materials including silk, wool and cotton. Pieces had to be easy to move, and each rug had to have a tight bind so a wheelchair could roll over it with ease. To marry Sally’s desire for clean lines with Craig’s rustic sensibility, Michael added nail heads—a Western touch—to the straight-lined chenille living room sofa and finished the walnut bed frame in the master bedroom with leather and nail heads for “a bit of cowboy style.” She also incorporated the homeowners’ collection of Native American pottery to offset the more “metropolitan” furnishings. When it came to color, the designer used a measured hand, adding touches of burgundy and blue in the great room—colors that recall the local red rocks and cerulean sky—and bolder pops of red and tangerine in the master bedroom. “If everything inside was neutral, it would match the arid landscape and there would be nothing to set off the natural beauty of the surroundings,” Michael says. “And this house is all about the views.” ○

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The kitchen’s formaldehyde-free maho- gany cabinets are offset by a bamboo-tile backsplash, and the leather-upholstered barstool is by Bright Chair Company. Inspired by a chandelier they saw at a nursery in New York, the homeowners designed this light fixture, which was fabricated by Myers & Co. The horse barn is powered by its own photovoltaic array. In the powder room, an amberand-black vessel sink rests atop a custom vanity fashioned from recycled java wood. Horse bridles await the next trail ride. FACING PAGE: Pillows covered with Bergamo fabrics top a custom wood-andleather bed. The upholstered Maya benches are by Jae Omar Design. 62


“ THE MASTER BEDROOM’S WALNUT CABINETS ARE CONFIGURED TO PROVIDE A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING.” KYLE WEBB

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This home’s accessible design has practical applications for anyone who requires the use of a cane, crutches, walker or wheelchair. Visit mountainliving.com/ conscientious to learn more, and for a guide to the home’s products and pros.


“THE FURNISHINGS’ TEXTURED FABRICS PROVIDE COMFORT, WHICH IS IMPORTANT IN A HOUSE THAT IS ALL STONE AND GLASS, AND SO GRAND IN SCALE.” SHARI MICHAEL

The same Colorado stone used to clad the home’s exterior appears on the living room’s fireplace wall. Shelves display collections of teapots and Native American pottery. Smooth concrete floors and 42-inch-wide corridors guarantee ease of movement for the homeowners’ daughter, who occasionally uses a wheelchair. FACING PAGE: Selected to match Colorado’s blue sky, a custom Tibetan rug by Michaelian & Kohlberg grounds the walnut-and-slate Helios dining table by Berman Rosetti. A Gear chandelier by McEwen Lighting and a console table by Dakota Jackson, made of glass and Afromosia wood, provide a contemporary touch.

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GREEN IS

PARED DOWN THE CHALLENGE: DESIGN A RESIDENCE THAT LIVES LARGE AND TREADS LIGHTLY ON THE LAND—IN 1,000 SQUARE FEET OR LESS

“IT’S A SEE-THROUGH HOUSE!” one visitor exclaimed upon first setting eyes on this sleek two-bedroom residence in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Indeed, the rectangular structure on a private five-acre site at the base of the Teton Mountain Range feels as open and expansive as its surroundings. Floor-to-ceiling windows in both long exterior walls face south to woodlands and north to a stream. Dramatic weather displays and the sounds of rushing water and rustling leaves are ever present. The size of this home, designed by architect John Carney of Carney Logan Burke Architects for himself and his wife Elaine, may at first come as a surprise: a mere 950 square feet. Local zoning laws required a small footprint, limiting the entire site to a maximum of 8,000 built square feet—and any guesthouse, which this structure will ultimately become for a yet-to-be-designed main house, to 1,000 square feet. Carney took that limitation as a challenge. “I’ve been practicing for thirty-something years,” he says, “and I’ve found that less can be more when you refine your ideas and are disciplined in your use of materials.” The architect began that refining process by designing a rectilinear form divided into three zones. The central living/dining area, flanked by walls of glass, includes a galley kitchen along one interior wall. Two bedroom suites feel larger thanks to their corner floor-to-ceiling windows. “Whenever you open a corner like that,” says Carney, “it brings the outside in more than a window in the middle of the wall would.” A limited materials palette adds to the house’s surprisingly open feel. Natural cedar-shingle and warm gray bonderized steel siding harmonize with the surroundings. “It evokes a rustic cabin,” Carney says. But few rustic cabins have the eco-conscious sensibility this home possesses. Canted slightly to the southeast, its east-west axis welcomes sunshine through the central room’s low-E windows, providing passive solar heating for the super-insulated structure. Three-zone forced-air heating kicks in only when and where it’s needed. At night, low-voltage lighting provides maximum illumination with minimum energy. The result is a residence that lives much larger than its size might suggest. “Visitors often ask me, ‘Why would you even build a main house?’” Carney says. “But I know that when it is designed, that house will have been informed by the knowledge we’ve gained here.” ○

STORY BY NORMAN KOLPAS

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MATTHEW MILLMAN

ARCHITECTURE BY CARNEY LOGAN BURKE ARCHITECTS 66


Less than 40 percent of the guesthouse’s site was disturbed during construction, and excavated boulders were used to create retaining walls and a dry wash for water runoff. The 10-by-13–foot master suite (above) feels far larger thanks to its corner window. An identically sized suite at the house’s other end is currently used as an office and guestroom.

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LIVING GREENER Architect John Carney shares some of the practices, big and small, his family has adopted to live a more environmentally responsible life: FOLLOW THE THREE R’S “We really do try to ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,’ as the old motto goes.” SET UP RIGHT-SIZED REMINDERS “In our very small kitchen, the garbage can is just a 12-inch-wide stainless-steel container. That’s a reminder not to live wastefully.” POWER DOWN “Our home heating system allows us to tailor our energy use to the time we spend in the house and the rooms we’re occupying. We can set it to heat up when we’re coming home.” CARPOOL “My wife, who is a strategic consultant for nonprofits, has an office at my firm. So we often drive to and from work together.”

Every aspect of the 950-squarefoot guesthouse expresses an environmentally responsible attitude. ABOVE, LEFT: The house’s sloping roof provides ceilings rising from 10 1/2 to 12 feet, with high windows facing south to maximize passive solar heating. A similarly shaped garage is clad with bonderized steel. ABOVE: Sleek, spare furnishings echo the less-is-more design and allow the views to be the star. LEFT: Double-paned low-E windows help conserve energy. When the weather is clement, glass doors open wide to welcome breezes and yield access to a wood deck that extends the living area over the dry wash on the home’s southern side. FACING PAGE: In a clearing to the north of the house, an irrigation channel was landscaped to resemble a mountain stream.

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“WHENEVER PEOPLE COME OVER AND WE GIVE THEM A HOUSE TOUR, IT TAKES ABOUT A MINUTE AND A HALF.” JOHN CARNEY

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GREEN IS

ADAPTABLE THE CHALLENGE: COMBINE THE STYLE OF AN ARCHITECT-DESIGNED HOME WITH THE SUSTAINABILITY AND ECONOMY OF A PREFABRICATED STRUCTURE

STORY BY NORMAN KOLPAS 70

PHOTOGRAPHY BY FRANK OOMS PHOTOGRAPHY


High on a rise in Texas Hill Country,

Clad with corrugated metal, the prefabricated structures resemble classic Texas ranch buildings and appear custom-made for their Hill Country setting. On the south-facing exterior wall above, 10-foot-tall windows topped with deep overhangs fill living areas with light and welcome breezes while tempering the midday sun. A raised concretepier foundation provides a crawl space that is partially concealed by stones from the site and porches constructed from local cedar.

a family’s contemporary ranch retreat presides over the rugged, rolling landscape. Its design and layout, customtailored to the site by architecture firm Lake|Flato, powerfully evoke the area’s ranching heritage. Although sleek and modern within, the two single-room-wide structures recall rustic cabins. Their roofs and exterior walls are covered in galvanized corrugated metal, while slatted-wood enclosures resembling barn doors form porches and a separate carport. Recycled concrete pathways that link the structures wind around undisturbed stands of trees. For all its sense of place, this compound was not designed exclusively for this site or these particular clients. Instead, it is composed of pre-designed modular rooms built completely in a factory and then trucked to and assembled at the ranch site. The structures were meticulously positioned in their preplanned configuration to capture the views while maximizing passive cooling and heating. The longer building contains a living/dining/cooking area linked via a breezeway to a master suite, and the smaller one contains two bedrooms and a shared bath for the owners’ twin teenage daughters. Finishing touches including porches, a breezeway and a carport were custom built on-site in the local vernacular. It’s a revolutionary approach to residential construction, combining the style and flair of architect-designed homes with the sustainability and economy of structures prefabricated to LEED-certification standards. Yet the Porch House—as the system has come to be called for its unique site-built elements—has evolved naturally from the long experience of the firm that created it. Founded in 1984, San Antonio-based Lake|Flato first gained a business toehold by creating “pretty modest second homes in the country, where our clients could celebrate the outdoors,” says cofounder and principal Ted Flato. “We originally designed houses in such a way that style took a backseat to fostering cross-ventilation and outdoor living.” A quarter-century later, the firm had grown into a multifaceted practice of more than 50 staffers, including a fulltime “sustainability coordinator,” and with residential assignments involving far larger and more elaborate homes. Flato and his colleagues began thinking about how they might “get back to having great architecture that more people could enjoy for a reasonable price,” in the words of the firm’s associate partner Bill Aylor, a driving force behind the Porch House concept. >> 71


RIGHT: The living/dining/cooking area connects to a separate master suite via this breezeway. In temperate weather, the site-built element stays open on both sides. A slatted cedar barn-style door (visible through the door in the photo to the left), hung from a railing built into the ceiling, can be rolled out when extra shelter is needed, making the space habitable even when winds are blowing. LEFT: From the breezeway, a hall leads past the master suite’s closet and bath to the bedroom. Finishes and the homeowners’ personal furnishings give the prefab structure a custom look.

Although the Porch House concept has found some of its first expressions in areas not too far from the Lake|Flato headquarters, Flato sees the approach as adaptable to a wide variety of settings and uses. The individual prefabricated room modules can be customized with a range of finish options and then combined and configured in any number of ways. The built-on-site porch elements serve as what the firm describes as a “connective tissue” that ties each home to its setting. By way of example, Flato cites a new Porch House project underway in the Rocky Mountain town of Lake City, Colorado, where the modules are being stacked and equipped with an internal stairway to create two-story, two-bedroom homes. “Add a wood-burning stove downstairs that carries heat upwards, spray-foam wall insulation and low-E windows,” says Flato, “and these Porch Houses can be practical year-round homes that make a lot of sense in colder climates.” Regardless of the intended setting, the Porch House fulfills a basic goal Ted Flato and his colleagues set for the project from the start. “This was an effort to get back to something simpler,” he says, “to have great architecture that more people could share and enjoy.” ○ 72


“HAVING A LIMITED PALETTE OF ROOMS TO CHOOSE FROM DISCIPLINES PEOPLE TO BUILD SMALLER, TO A JUST-RIGHT SIZE.” BILL AYLOR

ARCHITECTURE BY LAKE|FLATO ARCHITECTS

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PORCH HOUSE PARTICULARS Architect Ted Flato answers key questions about the Porch House concept.

WHAT MAKES A PORCH HOUSE SMART AND SUSTAINABLE? “There’s very little waste when you build offsite in a factory because you can recycle materials and the people who work on the project are not traveling very far. The entire building process has a smaller carbon footprint. We build each Porch House with the best insulation, window systems, air-conditioning and heating, and with great cross-ventilation. And we orient each structure on the site and add overhangs, awnings, porches, breezeways and other custom elements to make it as energy efficient as possible.”

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HOW MUCH ENERGY DOES A PORCH HOUSE USE COMPARED TO A CONVENTIONAL HOME?

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DESIGN AND BUILD A PORCH HOUSE?

“While it’s hard to give an exact number, the Porch House modules and the site-built elements we add to them are all designed to use considerably less energy than typical houses. If you add photovoltaic panels to the roof and make other specific energyconservation choices in the construction and siting, it is possible to have a net-zero-energyconsumption house.”

“The design process usually takes one to two months. After you decide you want a Porch House, we walk your site together, discussing how many rooms you want and how they’d be configured. Then you would come back to our office to pick materials and see how it all lays out. During the next six to nine months, permits would be obtained at the same time the rooms are constructed in the factory. The site would be prepared, the rooms would be delivered and all the site-built elements would be added.”

WHAT DOES IT COST? “From the very beginning of a project, we’re always talking budget. Apart from the site itself, our current projects range from about $150 to $225 per square foot. The price depends on the different design choices you make in terms of interior and exterior finishes, cabinetry, fixtures, fittings and configurations of the modules. When you come to our office to make all those decisions, you can see how the tab is running up and change your material choices if necessary.”


LEFT: Seen from a distance, the weekend retreat looks like a single structure that all but disappears into its surroundings. BELOW, LEFT: A closer view reveals a compound-like arrangement of separate pathway-connected buildings: the main living module and its adjacent master suite, a two-bedroom module with a shared bath, and a carport. The configuration maximizes each structure’s exposure to the natural setting and expansive views. BELOW: In the two-bedroom module, both rooms open via glass doors to a shared, south-facing front porch sheltered by a column-supported roof.

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TOP: Built-ins configured and finished to the clients’ needs and tastes, including a bank of appliances and cabinets extending the entire length of one wall from kitchen to dining area to living room, endow the compound’s main living module with style and efficiency. Windows on both sides of the 17-foot-wide room make it feel far more spacious. ABOVE: Each of the daughters’ bedrooms has windows or doors on three sides. RIGHT: The buildings’ configuration on the site forms a courtyard further sheltered by native vegetation.

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“THINKING OF THE PORCH HOUSE AS MULTIPLES RATHER THAN ONE-OFFS ALLOWED US TO MAKE SOMETHING REALLY THOUGHTFUL RATHER THAN REINVENTING THE WHEEL EVERY TIME.” TED FLATO

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IN THEIR WORDS

GREEN

TRENDSETTERS IN THE FIELD OF ECOFRIENDLY DESIGN PROVE YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO BIG TO BE GREEN AT HOME

FAVORITES

MICHAEL UEHARA PRESIDENT, KING PACIFIC LODGE, NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C., KINGPACIFICLODGE.COM

KARI FOSTER INTERIOR DESIGNER, ASSOCIATES III, DENVER, CO, ASSOCIATES3.COM

“Having family spread out across the United States means that frequent trips have become an extension of my home life. Owning a Toyota Prius allows me to continue to spend time with my family while making a smaller impact and supporting a company that is committed to help sustain the growing needs of society while reducing the level of harm inflicted on the earth.”

“My hands-down favorite, year in and year out, is the common houseplant. It is a symbol of wellness, brings nature indoors, purifies the air, delights the eye, fills the home with an ever-changing fresh vibrancy and nurtures the soul. Houseplants make great gifts and they’re seasonal too—amaryllis and nasturtiums for the holidays; tulips, hydrangeas and wheat grass in the spring; bromeliads, succulents, peace lilies and orchids all year long!”

RYAN SCHLAEFER FURNITURE DESIGNER AND OWNER, RYAN SCHLAEFER FINE FURNITURE, LOVELAND, CO, RTSFURNITUREDESIGN.COM

“My favorite green ‘accessory’ for the home is beetle-kill pine. It may be an obvious resource, familiar to those of us who live in Colorado, but I think there are many creative avenues yet to be explored when it comes to this reclaimed wood.”

BONNIE TRUST DAHAN FOUNDING PARTNER, VIVA TERRA, SAN RAFAEL, CA, VIVATERRA.COM

“The Bamboo Box Knife Holder, which we’ve carried at VivaTerra for some time, is a showstopper in any kitchen. Handcrafted in Vietnam, it’s filled with hundreds of bamboo sticks that hold the knives in place. It’s stunning to look at, very chic and modern. I can’t tell you how many people come through my kitchen and say, ‘That’s incredible!’” LAURA JO WEGMAN DESIGN DIRECTOR, COYUCHI, BERKELEY, CA, COYUCHI.COM

“I reupholstered my old couch in fabric that was woven out of recycled fibers, and it looks great! By reupholstering old furniture, I get to reuse a great piece and give it new life. And, in this case, I was even able to use fabric made from previously used fibers.”

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ML | March/April 2012

SHERI KOONES AUTHOR, PREFABULOUS + SUSTAINABLE, SHERIKOONES.COM

BRAD TOMECEK PRINCIPAL, STUDIO H:T ARCHITECTS, BOULDER, CO, STUDIOHT.COM

“The EcoSmart Stix fireplace by Hiroshi Tsunoda is an excellent choice for those just-coldenough-to-stay-in evenings. It’s an instantaneous, elegant campfire that adds atmosphere to any backyard setting, and it uses bioethanol, which burns clean and is environmentally friendly.”

“I like the new LED bulbs with Edison bases, which use less power and are now dimmable. They also save a lot of time and energy spent climbing ladders to change bulbs several times a year.” YVONNE JACOBS PRESIDENT, SLIFER DESIGNS, EDWARDS & DENVER, CO, SLIFERDESIGNS.COM

“l love Alexandra Ferguson’s pillows, which let you state your opinion with fun phrases and are made of fibers from recycled PET containers. Ten water bottles yield one pound of fiber, which means each pillow is saving about four water bottles from a landfill. I can’t tell you how much I despise water bottles. They're banned from our office!” ○


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Mountain Living  

March/April 2012