Last week I wanted the beach life, but now, as a fickle, ever-changing, evolving, wander-lusting, gay man, I want to be on top of the world. And this house, which sits at 9,200 feet above sea level, fits the bill quite nicely.
According Voorsanger Architects, the firm that designed this Winter Palace, AKA Wildcat Ridge: “This was not a situation where capturing the landscape was the challenge...[for] the landscape itself is so dominant, spectacular, and immediate, with its alpine vistas on the horizon the design called for an architecture that moved the scale of the exterior into the interior."
And they did.
Gorgeous wood floors and walls frame some of the most spectacular views, while rock walls echo the mountains beyond. The home was designed to follow the longitudinal parallel of the mountain top, with the public rooms, study, and master bedroom oriented west toward the dramatic views, while the guest rooms have an eastern orientation with views of the receding mountain ranges.
The house is two hundred forty feet long, bisected down its length by a twelve-foot stone wall of moss rock. Entering the house, the major rooms are on the left, accessible by a gallery parallel to the wall. This area is entirely free of columns, structured in long spans by a folded plate design with ceiling heights starting at twelve feet and ascending to thirty feet. The floors, walls, and ceilings are clad in black walnut, and the exterior of local sandstone and stucco.
The house’s energy sources are seventy-two geo-thermal wells and a generator, meaning that it can virtually function independent of outside support services. The wells heat the driveways, pool, and house during the coldest winter months and cools during the summer without depleting any fossil fuels.
Breathtaking. Energy efficient. And no pesky neighbors obstructing my view.
But, I may need a helicopter to fly me up there.
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