ARAPAHOE TREE HOUSE
An architecture love story of trees.
The client and original property owner for this residential development has an unrelenting respect and love for the mature trees on her property. Set back from the street over 120 feet, the Arapahoe 'Tree House' embraces it's forest canopy as part of the experiential fabric of the neighborhood. Most developments and developers are necessarily driven by the bottom-line to the oft-ruination of treescapes, however the unique circumstances of this particular property allowed for a more positive twist of arboreal fate. By utilizing a portion of an existing 1920s cabin foundation, coupled with a painstaking survey of existing tree critical root zones, the new house was able to meet market size-demands while also sparing any ill affects to the longest-standing neighbors-- two Douglas Firs, a Ponderosa Pine, an Engelmann Spruce, a rather spectacular Green Ash, & a thriving Black Walnut.
The house was designed to a Modern style and a modern-living sensibility, purposefully understated in its presence from the curb. Vertical feature-windows at the front of the house echo the verticality of the pines from the exterior while capturing compelling views from the interior. The rear-side yard is carefully hardscaped and manicured to provide an extension of the adjacent living room with an operable wall (accordion-style door); the sleek aesthetic and resulting microclimate provide a stark contrast to the scale and feel of natural growth in the expansive front yard... after all, outdoor spaces should have their own personalities. The second floor roof deck has a delicately framed view of the Flatiron Range. A detached garage and ADU, though composed in material and massing with the primary residence, allows for additional private guest quarters or income-generating square footage for the YIMBY Boulder progressive.
Though this market-driven, speculatively-developed residence was deemed an overwhelming investment success, it is the thumbprint of intention and character from the original owner-developer that led to a truly successful architecture and a satisfyingly happy ending to a love story about trees.