|Renée del Gaudio Architecture
|Boulder, CO, United States
|260 m2 (2800 sq.ft.)
|David Lauer Photography
Sunshine Canyon House is located on an alpine hillside above Boulder, Colorado. Several years ago, a major forest fire ravaged the property, burning a historic cabin and 100-year-old trees to the ground. The newly barren site resembled the treeless landscape of Boulder at the turn of the century. Rediscovering the architectural language of that era―particularly the region’s mining and agricultural heritage―provided the necessary design inspiration. While the home’s gabled roof form and rustic materials recall the area’s early vernacular, the design seeks to establish a language of its own. Exposed beams, rusted steel cladding, and industrial-size barn doors visually link the home to the community’s rural roots, while serving to create a fire-resistant, maintenance-free structure.
A prominent granite outcropping establishes the datum and links the home to the landscape via a steel footbridge. The structure is inserted into the adjacent hillside allowing the home to visually cascade down the site’s natural contours. Two linear volumes―one containing family living space, the other bedrooms―are stacked and rotated to optimize solar access and to capture different views from each room. The cantilevered forms create shady, protected spaces below and sun-filled living spaces above. Concise and efficient floor plans create a simple and serene interior environment.
A 3.6kW photovoltaic array, combined with high-efficiency electric appliances and LED lighting, makes the home electrically net-zero. Closed and open-cell foam insulation, triple pane windows with Low-E glass, and rolling barn door shutters keep the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Heating is provided with a 96% efficiency boiler, hydronic radiant floor tubing, and a high efficiency wood burning stove. An open floor plan with opposing windows allows daylight and breezes to naturally filter through all sides of the home.