By Matthew Power Unless you happen to pass overhead in an aircraft, or become a member of North Carolina's well-heeled golf set, you might not know this sprawling 11,600-square-foot luxury lodge exists.

Built on 4.5 acres, this timber-framed beauty, built for $290 per square foot, rests next to an exclusive country club adjacent to the highest private runway east of the Rockies.

The structure includes seven guest-rooms and space for a post office, grocer, golf pro shop, and community area. Some of the beams in the community areas measure 16 square inches. They look reclaimed but are actually Douglas fir from Pocopson Industries in Pennsylvania.

"We developed a design book with two main components," notes architect John Cottle. "One was 'We live outdoors,' and the other was to include some of the regional heritage."

Those features come through clearly-- some parts of the structure were modeled after the vernacular painted farmhouses in the region and materials familiar in the local landscape, like the use of slotted wood walls.

Photo: Robert Thein Photography

"Those we picked up and reinterpreted from tobacco barns," Cottle explains. "They create a very nice quality of light. There are also a lot of little chimney ruins around the area, and the stonework is meant to recall those. We used Virginia fieldstone, which is quarried locally."

Photo: Robert Thein Photography

Deep overhangs provide a strong, protective roof--with plenty of lightning arrestors. "We get lots of lightning strikes here," notes Cottle. "All of the buildings here have a strong community aspect to them--places to meet people, like porches," he adds. "This year, sales in the community have almost doubled."

Category: Community recreation building or clubhouse; Entrant/Architect: Cottle Graybeal Yaw Architects, Basalt, Colo.; Builder: Miller Building Corp., Charlotte, N.C.; Developer: Mountain Air Country Club, Burnsville, N.C.; Landscape Architect: Scott R. Melrose & Associates, Arden, N.C.; Interior Designer: The Ranch House, Boulder, Colo.

Photo: Robert Thein Photography

Copper Top

The use of copper cladding for the last few feet of the main chimneys served both artistic and economic purposes. The copper reflects the metal roofs common in the region, accents the building's flashing, and blends with the wood shakes used on the roof. "It also helped us reduce the amount of stonework," notes architect John Cottle. "That saved us a lot of expense in labor and materials."

Back to the Builder's Choice Index