Architect: Michael Folwell Architecture, Boulder, CO, (720) 334-1168, www.folwellstudios.com
Architect Michael Folwell and his wife Gail, a sculpture artist, had a grand vision when it came to the space they call home in Boulder’s Country Club neighborhood. The original house was an Eichler-esque California-style ranch house that was low and squat with a series of thoughtless and poorly built additions. The home after their year-long renovation? A sleek and stunning contemporary structure with revamped space, handsome contours and an entirely new face.
The couple wanted to celebrate the good parts of the old house while adapting it to be a home to suit their present-day lives—adding more studio space and carving out wiggle room for a growing family, plus giving the home a new orientation toward the mountain views. The original architecture would be a point of departure for these goals.
The original living area and dining space, which open out to an intimate outdoor-patio space, took on a new connection to the outdoors while holding down the shape of the existing structure. New architectural forms, which brought the home’s footprint to just under 2,000 square feet, were built out from and on top of the old form and comprise a studio (and studio garage), library, bedroom, bath, utility spaces and beautiful outdoor courtyards that help open up the house.
The home’s façade got a total makeover. Gone is the previous bland siding; the new structure is dressed in a palette of beautiful and interesting exterior materials—buff sandstone, exposed concrete, wood and cement fiberboard, to name a few—that create a whole new look and bring together the old with the new.
The architect and his wife love the way natural light moves through their new home, illuminating its surfaces and changing the way the space feels throughout the day. They love the way the clean-lined design showcases their collection of art and furnishings. And they love the way the home integrates with the plants and landscape (including an outdoor waterfall) that surround the home, lending a sense of privacy. The home’s design is cohesive, beautiful and revolutionized—from the inside out.