Modern Face, Old Soul

In Basalt, Colo., a former railroad town, stands a home that’s a seamless melding of past and present.

Where reclaimed materials weren’t possible, unabashedly industrial ones stand in.

One of the living room’s support beams is an off-the-shelf wide flange column from a steelyard.

Concrete walks from the original property were broken up and remade into flagstone-style patios and walkways that encourage drainage.

When lit from below at night, the Lexan sunshades on the south porch help the south gable become an outside lantern.

The lot abuts public land and was once part of a homesteading property that fell into disuse.

The owners planted native grasses and kept all but two of the trees from the orchard that once stood on the property.

At the north elevation, architect John Cottle stuck a gabled roof on two stories and then superimposed a curved roof and galvanized steel façade for the adjoining single story, calling to mind both the private houses and smelting kilns of Old Town Basalt.

Translucent sheets of sanded Lexan provide shade for the south-facing porch.

With a main orientation to the south, almost 50 percent of the living space gets direct solar gain. The bedroom’s brick wall helps buffer the intense southwestern sun.

The house framing and ceiling beams are all made of glulam. The support to the left is resawn, whitewashed glulam. Floors are engineered walnut.

Energy smarts abound here: An energy recovery ventilator conditions the space, and an evacuated tube solar panel provides almost 70 percent of the hot water. On the flat roof are solar panels.

All of finishes in the house are low- or no-VOC.

Adding to the sense of place are industrial and natural elements collaged with an artist’s touch. The fireplace surround is locally milled steel, with a cantilevered stone bench.

Join the Discussion

Please read our Content Guidelines before posting

Close X