Tour a Contemporary Telluride House With Glorious Panoramic Views
Situated on a breathtaking mountainside, the property takes a bold stance
Like a bald eagle perched magnificently on a hillside, broad wings spread to either side, this contemporary Telluride, Colorado, home looks ready to take flight over the valley below. The 4,400-square-foot house—quiet but bold, modern but timeless—is the brainchild of architect Steve Morton and designer Kimille Taylor, who also happen to be married, and divide their time between New York and Telluride.
Sited at the end of a cul-de-sac at an elevation of 9,740 feet, the house has primarily southern vistas that are extraordinary even by Telluride standards. Its low-slung horizontal shape, in fact, “was driven largely by the desire to maximize the incredible views from all of the living spaces and bedrooms,” Morton says. Every room in the house—aside from the garage and mudroom—frames the amazing panorama, with operable glass walls running the length of the living and dining areas and opening to the patio.
“The main living spaces are stretched out horizontally on the site, which creates a long, linear form or, if you would, the wingspan of the house,” says Morton, who tucked the home’s secondary, more utilitarian functions (like the garage) into a perpendicular section that runs uphill off the main building form toward the street. It was only as his design for the house evolved functionally into a T, he says, that “it started to feel like it wanted to fly—it had that aeronautical feel.”
That notion was reinforced on a visit to the clients’ home in Tempe, Arizona. “They had this beautiful painting of a soaring eagle, and I made the connection,” says Morton. “It was like, ‘Oh, my God, this is just like the house. We should call the house ‘Soaring Eagle.’” (Of course, that painting now hangs in the Telluride home.)
Because the four-bedroom, four-bath house (with two additional powder rooms) sits on a slope that drops off to the south, Morton was able to create a lower level—also with southern views—that includes a vast media room and guest rooms. The resulting design is both low-slung and private and looks deceptively simple from the street.
The sense of solidity extends to the handsome, timeless interior. “When you step into the house, there’s this amazing quiet,” says Taylor. “It’s so incredibly solid, and it’s really pared down—there is no unnecessary ornamentation like fussy door frames. Everything closes perfectly; everything’s aligned.” The home is luxurious but also respectful of its stunning natural surroundings.
“It hugs the land and is sensitive to it,” says Morton, who integrated planters around the perimeter of the house under the roofline to reinforce the connection with nature. He and Taylor also chose materials, both outside and inside, that would be harmonious with the environment, including cedar siding with a silvery wash and an Indiana limestone called silver buff that extends from the exterior all the way inside. “It was another way to connect the house to the land and to nature,” says Taylor. “When you’re inside the house and look at that stone and the trees beyond, they really melt together. It’s very integrated into the colors outside. This house feels so ‘of the place.’ It’s extraordinary.”