Gregory Creek House

The Gregory Creek House is located in a copse of trees along the green corridor of Gregory Creek in Boulder, at the base of the Flatirons. The modern design concept grew from close collaboration with the client and group design sessions. The metaphor of a cluster of mushrooms appeared early on as a way of describing a home intended as a safe retreat, tucked under the trees and emerging from the soil.

The dynamic roofline expresses this feeling of 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 degree angles 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. The layers of the home also share a relationship to the trees and landscape, with an upper level at branch/foliage level and a bottom level that rises, on cantilevers, from the ground. Steel moment frames define the structure of the home, with wood framing providing in-fill.

The modern home is highly customized, reflecting the homeowners’ intention to “age in place,” and with special consideration for their many family pets.

  • An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) occupies the basement level of the home, providing apartment living to an in-home assistant with a private entrance.
  • An elevator provides access to all levels, including the basement apartment.
  • Super insulated walls (2×8 cavities) and in-floor radiant heating provides thermal stability and comfort.
  • A designated “four-seasons room” provides a porch-like environment with additional protections in place for the pets, including large-scale sliding windows with screens.
  • A protected patio in front of the home offers outdoor seating in the “warm pocket” of the home’s southern exposure, while a penisular deck set over a cantilever in back offers views of the trees and wildlife of the creek.
  • A balance was sought between protection, and exposure, to the natural creek environment and its wildlife, which includes deer, mountain lions, bears, and birds of prey. The home’s relationship to the site is emphasized through framed views of the trees and environment, and open flow between the home and the creek, while physical access is somewhat restricted through the use of cantilever footings, and careful window configuration.

The living area of the home is ~2,200 sq ft, with an additional 950 sq ft in the ADU basement apartment. The home is highly energy-efficient and contains a 3.15 kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) array.

Consultants and Collaborators:

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Jeff Becker Construction
STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING: Gebau, Inc.
ENERGY CONSULTANT: Sustainably Built
LIGHTING DESIGN: Element Architectural Lighting
CIVIL ENGINEERING: Scott, Cox & Associates

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