The Gregory Creek Residence is located in a lush copse of trees along the green corridor of Gregory Creek in Boulder. Inspired by a program that emphasized both inclusion in and protection from this rich, wild environment, the image of a cluster of mushrooms became an early metaphor – a home emerging from the soil as part of the forest undergrowth to create shelter for a safe retreat.
The roofline expresses this reaching or growth and provides a protective canopy for the layers underneath. The roof is created by two expansive planes, with ridges oriented at 45 degrees to the squares of the footprint. The volumes of the home are informed by these planes, with an interior layout responsive to the angled ceiling heights. Most of the house is open overhead to these roof planes, and the sense of their sheltering presence is reinforced by the continuity of the wood ceilings with the soffits.
The home’s openings express two divergent themes. Larger openings to the West and North relate to the trees or landscaped environment. To the East and South, the continuity of narrower openings is designed to admit sunlight rather than offer views. Spaces throughout the home receive morning light regardless of the season. Daylighting is enhanced by the entrance of light from three different directions.
Each layer of the home relates differently to the surrounding natural environment. The lower level emerges from grade to connect with the forest floor and ground-level plant life. The main level looks over the creek, into the trees, and beyond the landscaped yard. The upper level provides the most intimate connection, with a sense of nesting within the branches and foliage of the trees. Overall an open visual flow connects those in the home to the creek and its creatures, while offering protection via the use of cantilevers.
The design of the home was developed through an organic process. It evolved with ongoing client participation, was nurtured by in-studio group design sessions, and fine-tuned during a collaborative construction process.
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