Although not a vacation home, this house for a couple and their young daughter is designed to live like one, while still nestling conveniently in the city of Boulder. Located on a large lot with shared open space and mature cottonwood trees, it has a distinctly rural vibe that appealed to its owners’ outdoorsy nature. “It’s at the end of a cul de sac with no traffic and great morning views,” says architect Mike Piche, AIA.
Three gabled volumes negotiate the site’s gentle topography and compartmentalize the program into its different functions or “pods,” as Mike calls them. There’s a sleeping pod, a living/kitchen/dining pod, and a hobby pod—a combination garage/workshop/gear room. There’s also a carport shelter for the owners’ getaway vehicle, a tricked-out Sprinter van.
Pulling apart the plan into the trio of volumes creates a private, tiered courtyard, and focuses the gabled ends of the main buildings directly on the best views, including the distant mountains. On the south side of the house, another more social outdoor area engages the neighborhood.
Exterior materials are specified for low maintenance and Colorado’s weather extremes: sustainably harvested New Zealand Abodo wood for cladding and standing seam metal for roofing. A solar array (the hobby pod’s roof is sloped to accommodate it), efficient radiant heat, and triple-paned windows from Poland take the house to near net-zero.
Architect: Principal Mike Piche, AIA, Studio B Architecture + Interiors, Boulder
Builder: Jeff Becker Construction, Boulder
Landscape Architect: Elevate by Design, Boulder
Project size: 4,800 square feet
Site size: .75 acre
Renderings: Kyle Burds, Mike Piche