This house sits on a south-facing hill in the Rocky Mountains of Crested Butte, Colorado.

Three identical structures cascades down a gentle slope in a telescopic array, gently stepping down the topography in an effort to minimize disturbance of the site. Most of the design stems from the natural site features.

The lot is small, but it is nestled between a hill of aspens and the openness above the valley below. We decided to treat the aspen hill as a wall that would complete a courtyard between the proposal and the forest, creating a sense of openness prior to a backdrop of forest. 

At 8800 ft above sea level the climate is a serious challenge: Twelve feet (4m) of snow accumulate on the site in the winter, and powerful sun rays through a thinner atmosphere can degrade materials and excessively heat unprotected openings in the summer. A resilient material palette of large shingles and high masonry walls shield the inside from the harsh conditions. Deep inset windows peer towards select views of peaks and the vastness of Crested Butte.



Location: Crested Butte (CO)

Type: Residential

Status: CD

Builder: Don Smith

Engineering: REG