Handcrafted Home: From floor to timber-frame ceiling, this team built a legacy

Published on: February 4th, 2012

It’s Colorado throughout—grandiose in height and heft, nurturing with snapping fireplaces and sunlit napping nooks, and comfortable—satiating souls in the way only the smell of fresh pine and a view of snow-capped peaks can.

“We tried to bring the outside in and have there be a very comfortable relationship between the house and nature,” architect David Biek said.

It took a team of designers, architects and contractors three and a half years to plan and about that long to build and fill the 6,500-square-foot space.

COLORADO CATHEDRAL: With natural, dry-laid stone and colors that match the native ponderosa pines that fill the wooded and mountainous areas beyond the home’s border, the patient crew of designers and builders worked to make the home appear timeless, as though it could have been an old church left in the mountains for a century. “We studied every grain and every piece of wood,” Biek said.

MARRIAGE OF STYLES: A two-foot Tibetan Buddha in the entryway and several other details in the home hint at Asian undertones in the otherwise cathedral-like homestead. Here, rustic meets contemporary to create comfortable spaces with fine detailing and subtly sophisticated, artistic charm. “I take a lot of pride in being able to create spaces that don’t feel ostentatious or overwhelming,” Biek said.

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS: An enclosed spiral staircase winds itself from the first floor to the second, creating a feature that feels much like a secret passageway. It’s a touch of whimsy that is certainly not an over-arching theme in the home’s design, but the details do give the home a personality that is anything but boring.  “We studied every aspect of the house to the point that it was almost obsessive,” Biek said. And one obvious trend is the contrast between vast, open spaces with intimate, cozy areas, giving the building a sense of place and a sense of hominess while keeping it elegant and impressive.

INTO THE WOODS: The materials in the timber-frame structure—especially the wood—lend the home a unique charm. The builders had a near obsessive focus on the wood. And that shows in this walkway. “I think the quality of the timbers used in this house adds so much more to the feeling of it than I ever would have guessed possible,” Biek said.

ROOM WITH A VIEW: The owner spent five years choosing the nearby knoll from 147 acres on his non-profit conservation ranch. To find it, he studied the seasons, sun and wind searching for the most natural place to build. Needless to say, the homestead has been a labor of love. “It’s a piece of artwork,” the homeowner said.

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