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A Creekside Home Designed Around its Spruce Trees



Photography by Dan Coffey

What do you do when you plan to build your dream home on a gorgeous piece of property, but you also want to preserve the various trees, rock, and other natural elements of the surrounding landscape? Well, let this home be your guide.

This mountain modern abode in Colorado’s Vail Valley is truly a blend of art and engineering. In order to build the home creekside while maintaining the majestic spruce trees on site, the design team collaborated with an arborist—ensuring that all nine of the mature 100-feet-tall trees were carefully protected during construction and slated to keep providing shade to the property throughout the home’s lifetime.

The result is a 10,000-square-foot, nature-lover’s retreat, organically integrated into its gorgeous surroundings, with exterior materials to match—local stone veneer, reclaimed weathered wood siding, and exposed steel.

The floorplan is composed of four connected wings that angle, jog, and curve around the trees, creating dynamic spaces with huge windows and doors facing the creek.

The main house is comprised of 7,700 square feet, with an 800-square-foot home office suite. Above the office sits a 1,500-square-foot, two-bedroom guest unit, with a completely private entry.

The interiors were designed with cozy and luxurious relaxation in mind.

The large curved, wooden stair slabs cantilevered off a single steel stringer makes a bold, creative statement—and was no small feat of engineering and construction.

This artistic-industrial theme is further expressed at the beautifully crafted patinaed-steel pivot entry door, with curving-glass window sections and inlayed patterns. The three 1,000-pound panels float as an abstract plane, juxtaposed by the transparent glass walls connecting them to the solid stone walls.

The layout of the home also took into account the owners’ extensive Asian art collection—the team designed a custom niche for a 20-foot-long antique scroll as well as intimate spots to present poetry and large walls to display paintings.

An intimate courtyard and patio graces the creek-side of the home, and views of the creek are brought inside at every available opportunity.

Saving the spruce trees, incorporating art exhibits, and crafting the one-of-a-kind entry and staircase presented the design team tremendous challenges—but the finished product is genuinely an organic and meticulous masterpiece.

DESIGN DETAILS:

ARCHITECTURE Berglund Architects CONTRACTOR Vail Custom Builders INTERIOR DESIGN Callicrate Company Interior Design STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING KRM Consultants, Inc. LANDSCAPE DESIGN Ceres+ Landscape Architecture

Hans Berglund is the owner of Berglund Architects, an Edwards, Colorado-based firm that specializes in custom residential and commercial design for the mountain environment. View their profile or contact Hans at (970) 926-4301.

Content for this article provided by Berglund Architects.

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