Houses embedded in the earth are becoming a specialty of Gluck+, the New York architect-led design-build firm formerly known as Peter Gluck and Partners. The reasons are compelling–the grass roofs reduce energy loads and their low profile doesn't impinge on the natural landscape. In the case of a 2,850-square-foot guesthouse in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the clients, for whom Gluck had designed a main house on the site in 2004, wanted a separate structure to be located on property to the south between a creek and an access road. But they didn't want it to interfere with the splendid mountain vista they had from the main house. “So many views are destroyed by plunking buildings on top of the land,” says Gluck.
The living and dining areas, anchored by a bluestone fireplace wall on the north, open out through glazed doors to the pool on the east and a private, sunken, triangular courtyard on the west. Cor-Ten clads the courtyard's slanted retaining wall, into which an outdoor fireplace is carved. Just beneath the Cor-Ten fascia of the house's roofs, clerestories frame panoramic views of the mountains. “It's become more than a guesthouse,” says Gluck. “It's a communal space for the family.”
Completion Date: February 2012
Gross Square Footage: 2,850 SF
Location: Colorado Rocky Mountains
Architecture and Construction:
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Metal Panels: 1/8' Corten Steel Panels
Metal/glass curtain wall: Custom Fixed
Wood: Custom Milled Vertical Grain White Oak
Moisture barrier: Vaproshield at walls, Tremco
Other cladding unique to this project:
Sliding doors: Arcadia ULT-5000 Glass Sliding Doors
Pulls: Custom stainless steel by Truso Hardware
Paints and stains: Pittsburgh Paints 'Pure Performance'
Solid surfacing: Corian Counters
Floor and wall tile:
Carpet: Flor 'House Pet', 'Frog'
Dimming System or other lighting controls:
Photovoltaic system: Heliodyne Solar Hot Water