A Pastoral Hideout in the Mountainside
A picture-perfect ranch makes the most of its spectacular setting
A few miles west of the historic mining town of Gold Hill, this 95-acre ranch sits nestled into the mountainside with spectacular panoramic views of the Indian Peaks and the Continental Divide. The site, at 9,000 feet, is often battered by harsh winds, regular snowstorms and beating sun, making it a dramatic backdrop and a challenging environment in which to build a home. The result: a confident yet harmonious 3,300-square-foot, energy-efficient home that stands out while blending in.
“We carefully designed the house to maximize the sweeping views of the mountain meadows and the Indian Peaks mountain range, while simultaneously optimizing passive solar design," says Scott Rodwin, the home's architect. “We kept it simple, rugged and in harmony with the site."
The sense of providing a frame for the landscape runs as a theme and begins at the get go. From the first approach as you pass under an old log gate and encounter the building’s eastern façade, cedar beams extend like a large border around the expansive view.
The juxtapositions of old and new, manmade and natural, work from all angles and in changing light to provide a great viewfinder through which to contemplate the landscape.
Also paramount to Rodwin’s vision was engaging with the client’s 60-plus years of family history on the land. To that end, he has left several remnants of original structures, including a solid quartz wall that stands like a large sculpture visible from the kitchen windows of the new house.
“Every room opens to patios and decks to facilitate indoor/outdoor living,” says Kirsten Snobeck, senior design at Rodwin Architecture.
The homeowners had intended the house as a seasonal family retreat, but after seeing it finished, they decided to move cross country and relocate permanently to the Gold Hill Ranch.
ARCHITECTURE Rodwin Architecture