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It won for its two-story wall of windows.

THE MOVEMENT OF light animates the design of this new house in a tree-filled mountain setting in Colorado. On its windowed south face, it flirts with nature through an airy veil of lattice screen that filters sun entering the kitchen and master suite above. Sunset-AIA juror Mark Simon said, "This screen breaks down light and scale all at once."

It's a major feature of a design that takes full advantage of light and views on all fronts. Believing the house should complement--not dominate--nature, the clients were eager to preserve the park-like ambience of the 1/4-acre site.

Built on the footprint of a weathered farmhouse, the new structure reinvents elements--such as the mansard roof--of the original. It becomes, in the architect's words, "the house the old one wanted to be."

Partial walls and an open central stairway break up the cruciform plan, so interior spaces flow into one another. Each quadrant of the house opens to different views; window placement was calculated to meet the needs of each living area. In the living room, windows adjoining the entry are placed high for privacy. On the west-facing wall, they're set low to cut harsh afternoon sun and allow wall space for displaying art.

Some of the walls are heavy, some light. Heavy exterior walls of stucco and concrete block provide a reassuring sense of enclosure. Lighter, wood-framed interior walls define rooms and the stairwell, which also functions as a lightwell. Shafts of light, through the skylight above the stair, shift throughout the day and the seasons.

Juror Bobbie Sue Hood described the house as "very livable" and lauded its well-formed space and crisp detail. "It's a contemporary country house that still says 'farmhouse'--not easy to achieve.
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Title Annotation:'Sunset'-American Institute of Architects Western Home Awards; Colorado home by Pellecchia Olson Architects
Publication:Sunset
Date:Nov 1, 1991
Words:285
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