Mathews Architecture

Mountaintop Aerie

Located on a nearby ridgetop at an elevation of more than 4,000 feet, this private residence has a commanding view of the valley below. Unlike some of the neighboring homes, this structure takes full advantage of the view while still remaining low on the site and relatively invisible from the valley below. The house is approximately 4,000 square feet with the majority of the living space on one floor in two v-shaped wings conforming to the site contours. One wing is dedicated for the master bedroom suite and the other for the kitchen, dining and guest bedroom. The axis of the two wings is the large living room with contemporary horizontal gas fireplace, large timber framed beams and access to the west facing decks. A partial lower level provides additional guest and family living and sleeping accommodations. The wings are connected with a skylit gallery that houses some of the owner’s extensive collection of African and East European art. The design for the house including coordination of niches and shelving for displayed artwork, integrated lighting systems, and protection of artwork from degradation ultraviolet light through the design of appropriate glazing systems. The aesthetic challenge of the house was to create a mountain home that nestled into the landscape, felt indigenous to the site which would comfortably embrace the owner’s eclectic collection of art. The materials used include native stone, including from on site, cedar and cement stucco, meant to compliment the natural woodland setting, The few disturbed areas have been reclaimed with the well planned re-introduction of native plants and flowers. The configuration of the floor plan makes use of natural daylighting through clerestory windows and skylights throughout much of the house. Other sustainable features include the use of icyene and cellulose insulation, bamboo flooring, recycled glass tiles, and geothermal heat pumps. This project was completed in July of 2005.
A new house on the ridgetop.
The entrance, featuring stone, stucco, heavy timbers, and decorative rain chains.
The dogs' end of the house, a wing to themselves.
The rear features a multi-tiered system of decks to take full advantage of the view.
The Living Room, a veritable museum displaying a lifetime of collecting.
Niches were designed and located for specific pieces in the owner's art collection.
Skylights bathe the Dining Room and hallway in light.
The dining room features niches with built-in bookcases and a fireplace.
The Kitchen features tiers above the cabinets for the owner's art, and looks out over the valley.
The view down the valley on a Fall day.