Sitting almost 10,000 feet above sea level on a steep slope in Telluride, Colorado, a vacation home withstands extreme weather: deep snows and blazing sunshine. Cambridge, Massachusetts–based Anmahian Winton Architects wanted to take advantage of the dramatic site while minimizing the adverse effects of the climate. “A lot of our effort was intended to dig the house in and keep it low profile,” says principal in charge Nick Winton, who collaborated with architect Karen Swett and landscape architect Michael Boucher.

The 8,000-square-foot steel-and-wood-frame structure will eventually become the clients' full-time residence, while serving as a hub for relatives. The architects developed a roughly L-shaped plan with connected rectangular volumes that read as separate pavilions and offer opportunities for privacy.

Colorado buff-limestone walls frame a depressed entry courtyard and provide a perch for the second story. The extended horizontal massing recalls houses by Frank Lloyd Wright, and, as Winton notes, the stone walls echo the scale and mortar detail of those found in old Telluride. On the entry floor, a kitchen and dining room have panoramic views, while the living room looks down the slope. A master suite is set apart from the rest of the house, with a connection on the entry level. Each main room has a relationship to the outdoors, says Winton, and what he calls a “micro-courtyard.”

The other rich, natural materials follow the logic of the limestone walls: They're durable, low maintenance, and textured. Copper and steel plate clad the facade. Oak reclaimed from a barn serves as a fully ventilated rainscreen and a real screen in front of some windows. “The owners were inclined to make high-quality choices about materials and sustainability. And they did,” says Winton.

Completion Date: September 2010

Gross Square Footage: 8,000 square feet





Completion date:

September 2010


Gross square footage:

8,000 sf



Anmahian Winton Architects
650 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
T: (617) 577-7400
F: (617) 577-7420
Karen Swett



Structural Engineer:
Weidlinger Associates, Inc.

Burggraaf Associates

Buckhorn Geotech



Michael Boucher Landscape Architecture

LAM Partners, Inc.


General contractor:

Fortenberry Construction Company



Tim Hursley and Jane Messinger


CAD system, project management,
or other software used:

Vectorworks Architect



Structural system:

Concrete foundation walls, Steel frame with TJIs

Exterior cladding:

Masonry: Veneer stone

Metal Panels: ¼' th. Steel Plates on discontinuous stl clips, Flat Lock Seam Copper

Reclaimed Barn board slats on vertical strapping

Vertical cedar siding

Moisture barrier:
#30 Asphalt Saturated Felt (Vertical walls), Xypex (Exposed Concrete), Grace Ultra (Roof)


Built-up roofing Hydrotech Garden Roof Assembly

Metal: Standing Seam copper roof


Wood frame: Point Five Windows Copper Clad Mahogany / Rift Sawn Oak Windows


Wood doors: Point Five Windows Copper Clad Mahogany / Rift Sawn Oak Doors


Locksets: Brussart Custom Brass Lockset

Interior finishes

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Shavano Woodworking

Paints and stains: Benjamin Moore

Solid surfacing: Caesarstone

Floor and wall tile: Colorado Buff Sandstone, White Oak

Resilient flooring: Linoleum tile


Interior ambient lighting: : Tech Lighting MonoRail, Bocci Pendant

Downlights: RSA Combolight CO Series, RSA Accurus MR16, Gotham Compact Fluorescent Downlight

Exterior: BK Lighting, Bega recessed steplighting, Auroralight Meridian Step Light

Dimming System or other lighting controls:Lutron LiteTouch


Elevators/Escalators: Waupaca Elevator Company Dumbwaiter


Haws Drinking Fountain Waterworks Cambridge Bathtub
Haws Drinking Fountain
American Standard Utility Faucet
Duravit Vero Washbasin
Dornbracht Tara Faucets
TOTO Supreme Toilet
Waterworks Cambridge Bathtub
Advent Design Antella Stone Bath