Ski Lift Home

I found this house on Dwell a couple years ago and just think its wonderful.
After visiting Winter Park, Colorado, for weekend ski jaunts, the 44-year-old artist and corrective-exercise specialist fell in love with the small mountain town—and decided to move there. “I was living in New York, working as a graphic designer, and one day I just decided that I wanted to ski,” Hiller says, casually. While lacking the celebrity cachet of nearby Vail or Aspen, Winter Park has proximity to Denver, a higher volume of snowfall, and a small-town sense of community that Hiller cherishes. “I like the local feel. It’s not overdeveloped,” she explains.

The new 1,948-square-foot house is top-heavy, with the elevated main living areas almost doubling the square footage while embracing the natural beauty outside. Of the heavy reliance on glass, Johnson explains, “I like to build glass buildings. It works from an environmental standpoint. Quite simply, the glass heats the house.” With the inclusion of aluminum storefront windows and sliders with Pittcon baseboards, the space gets excellent solar gain and, not coincidentally, quite a number of houseguests.
“The second floor feels like you’re in a tree house, which is very cool, especially when it’s snowing,” Hiller says. The house has received an overwhelmingly positive reaction from her ski pals. “It’s funny, I have a lot of friends who don’t like modernist architecture, and they end up loving my house. They say, ‘We didn’t know it could be so inviting and warm.’”
inspiration behind the bright, airy first level, where slanted light wells pour sunlight into a bedroom and studio. “I grew up in Wisconsin, and basements were horrible spots. We had the existing basement, and I knew Ruth was a painter and needed a studio, so I just borrowed light by pushing the lower floor plate in four feet, which allowed the light wells to light up a guest bedroom and her studio. It’s a logical solution for making a wasteful space worthwhile.”

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