Architecture Research Office

Architecture Research Office

New York, NY


Colorado House

Colorado House was commissioned by a large family whose members are spread throughout the country. The location selected for the home is a 120-acre parcel of land whose most compelling feature is a panorama of beautiful Rocky Mountain vistas. To orient the house, ARO built a digital wire-frame model representing a fifteen-by-seventeen mile swath of southern Colorado.

The series of digital perspectives created using the wire-frame went on to influence our design. Each room of the house bears a direct connection with the landscape visible through the windows. Bedroom windows feature intimate views while more dramatic vistas are reserved for the living room and dining rooms. Two principal views—one towards the Sneffels range in the northeast, another towards the Ophir Needles to the southeast—make up the house’s principal axis. At the heart of the house is the kitchen, around which the bedroom suites are organized.

Minimalist interiors support the notion of the house as a frame for landscape. Interior walls are covered in white plaster while the floors are a continuous surface of polished concrete. The two fireplaces are made of dry-laid Montana fieldstone, and the handrails of bead-blasted stainless steel bar. Furnishings throughout are selections from the family’s fine art and furniture collections.

To clad the walls that frame these views, ARO devised an original shingle system using canted parallelograms of Cor-Ten steel, which develops a rust-colored patina. In color as well as shape and the asymmetrical  pattern of their placement, these shingles strike a bond with surrounding mountains and aspen trees. At select moments in the design these shingle-clad walls slip inside the house, dissolving the perceived boundary between the natural and the architectural.

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Status: Built
Location: Telluride, CO, US