Designed for a client who grew up on the property in a previous home, this house and guesthouse compound is sited on a 6-plus-acre piece of land within a dense Denver neighborhood.
The client couple wanted a home that integrates both formal and everyday living. This balance is achieved through a series of complementary strategies. Three symmetrical pavilions of equal widths are evenly spaced to achieve a rigorous classical beauty, while the offsetting of each volume introduces a freshness to the design and creates new indoor/outdoor possibilities. Similarly, the symmetrical entryway and portico are flanked by informal features such as an outdoor fireplace and casual patio areas.
In various ways the site played an especially significant role in determining orientation and design of the compound. The client’s attachment to her childhood landscape necessitated building around many mature trees, and a magnificent Linden tree anchors the design, a focal point for the plan. Well-trafficked thoroughfares banding the property make for high noise levels, so extensive acoustic testing factored into the placement of shielded exterior spaces, such as the entry court and courtyard. Topography of the site was also utilized to preserve peace and privacy: the large creek bench and slope at the east side of the site provides a natural point for a lower floor tucked below the main living area, with recreational space and bedrooms for the clients’ visiting children.
Expressed in a limited palette of stone and wood with copper detailing, the project’s aesthetic is simple and timeless, elegant but not opulent. The low-slung profile, hipped roofs, and broad overhangs recall Prairie-style precedents but detailing is clean and reductive.