Perfect Harmony

Looking down from its driveway approach, this 8500-square-foot Telluride, Colo. home appears to actually grow right up out of the surrounding wetlands.

April 02, 2000

"You're actually looking down on the house as you drive up," says Tim Hild. "So we paid a lot of attention to creating a very dramatic roofline." The home's exterior features a pleasing blend of curves and dramatic angles accented by locally quarried Telluride Gold stone and cedar shake siding. The custom-built front doors are designed to resemble the quills of a feather. All approaches to the home, including the sidewalk, driveway and patios are heated in order to eliminate the buildup of snow and ice.

 

Looking down from its driveway approach, this 8500-square-foot Telluride, Colo. home appears to actually grow right up out of the surrounding wetlands. Its unique design combines sweeping curves with dramatic angles. Coupled with the careful selection of natural materials, it gives the home's sprawling exterior a subtle elegance.

As with all their custom residential projects, Tim and Nancy Hild were involved with the planning of this home from its initial stages. Their 35 combined years of engineering experience gives them a formidable grasp of what works. "If we're involved at the outset, we can offer our advice on such important elements as the position of the home and the placement of drives, patios and sidewalks," says Nancy Hild. "We also strive to preserve the character of the site itself by removing as little of the natural materials--soil, rock and trees--as possible."

 

The Hilds are very involved in the design process from the beginning, one main reason being that they want to ensure optimal site orientation. They want to maximize views from both inside and outside the home.

 

Designed by architect Eric Cummings, the home's floorplan features a dramatic central hallway that links two rotundas. A work of art in itself, this corridor features exposed trusses supported by free-standing wood columns and plaster arches. Skylights flood the core of the home with natural light. The main rotunda, or entry hall, provides access to the kitchen, living and dining rooms and elevated sunroom.

At the opposite end, the second rotunda provides access to the master wing. A unique staircase featuring hand-carved "twig" balusters leads to the home's two office/retreats.

 

Locally quarried Telluride Gold stone soaks up the rays in the home's elevated sunroom. The framing underneath the beautifully paneled ceiling was "almost too pretty to cover up" says builder Nancy Hild. The metal fireplace screen reflects a view of the forest outside through the windows that encircle the room.

 

The homeowners, retirees from Minnesota, wanted a design that would give them the convenience of single-level living, while avoiding the conventional appearance of a ranch-style home. Several areas of the home are elevated slightly for increased drama, including the sunroom and offices. The basement level is reserved for the mechanicals.

"The curvilinear design of the home made it a very difficult one to build," says Tim Hild. "Every element, from a construction standpoint, had to be carefully considered."

Nancy Hild agrees. "The roof framing was so elaborate and beautiful in some of the ceilings that it was almost a shame to cover it up with sheetrock," she says. The home features plaster walls and large, 1 1/2-inch radius corners.

 

The piece of wood used to create this unusual countertop was hand-selected by the homeowners in Santa Fe. The sink and faucet are copper.

 

"The homeowners were less concerned with big views than with preserving and enjoying the natural wetlands on the site," says Nancy Hild.

The home features only one guest suite in addition to the master bedroom. A separate guesthouse already on the 2 1/2-acre site was preserved for company.

In a home that offers this amount of living space on a single level, the massive size of the roof could have been a problem. But not here. As functional as it is beautiful, this roof actually contributes to the home's architectural appeal.Copper slip sheets along the perimeter prevent the buildup of snow and ice.

Truly one-of-a-kind, this stone fireplace (right) is actually comprised of three rocks that were hand selected by the owner on a visit to the local quarry. The largest rock, the mantle piece, weighed 22,000 pounds and had to be flown into place using two cranes. "This fireplace was built first," says Tim Hild. "The rest of the home was literally constructed around it."

 

Similar slip sheets at the peaks perform the same function and are raised to provide natural ventilation. The skylights are also copper and will age to a "nice, natural patina" says Tim Hild.

Construction hard costs for this home were $411 per square foot.

a single level, the massive size of the roof could have been a problem. But not here. As functional as it is beautiful, this roof actually contributes to the home's architectural appeal. Copper slip sheets along the perimeter prevent the buildup of snow and ice. Similar slip sheets at the peaks perform the same function and are raised to provide natural ventilation. The skylights are also copper and will age to a "nice, natural patina" says Tim Hild. Construction hard costs for this home were $411 per square foot.

Visible through the open walls, the exposed beams of the central hallway give the kitchen a rustic feeling. Crafted on-site of oak and hand-hammered zinc patina panels with steel trim, the cabinetry is designed with "more of a slick feel to it," says Hild. The metalwork throughout the home is designed to reflect the owner's career in the steel industry. Hand-carved "twig" balusters create a distinctive stairway surrounding a sculpture of local stone. Similar to the front doors, this pair of custom doors is designed to represent the quills on a feather.

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