The Sunshine Canyon Residence by THA Architecture

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The Sunshine Canyon Residence has been designed by THA Architecture, nestled at an elevation of 7,000 feet in the mountains just west of Boulder, Colorado. Completed in 2013, this home was a replacement to a home that the owners had lost the Fourmile Canyon fire of Labor Day weekend in 2010. They sold their property and purchased a larger parcel of eight acres for $150,000 on a higher perch, seven miles above downtown. The new structure was more modest in size to their previous home, coming in at 2,200 square feet and costing $1.2 million to build. The dwelling is set on tall steel columns and encased in corrugated, fire-resistant steel siding that is quickly taking on the patina of an old mining shack. “With passive house features, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and a solar array out back, the house is practically net zero in terms of energy consumption”, states THA Architecture.

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An encaged, open-air dog run was built under the house for the couple’s two dogs. “Up here,” states the homeowner, “the dogs are just McNuggets for the mountain lions.”

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When the enormous sliding windows are open, the line between indoors and outdoors blurs. The homeowner insisted on furnishing the living room with the same eight-foot Maxwell leather sofa from Restoration Hardware that he had loved in the house he lost to the Fourmile Canyon fire. The metal deck chairs were found at a flea market.

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The panoramic views are ever-changing and offer their own form of entertainment. Where others may have cleared away the expanse of burned trees, the couple saw beauty and left them standing.

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The kitchen has solid oak countertops from Ikea and cabinets that were custom-made out of clear vertical-grain oak. The yellow Marais A Bar Stools are from Industry West ($175 each).

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Exposed steel structural columns run up through the open living area; the concrete floors have radiant heating underneath.

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An outdoor room beside the kitchen offers access to the deck and entry breezeway and “provides an eddy to the wind,” said Mr. Martin, the designer. As the steel siding rusts, it creates its own patterns.

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A sliding louvered wall adds privacy and security to the entry breezeway.

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In warm weather, the deck offers a sheltered space for dining and entertaining.

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The master bedroom windows frame close and distant views. The Calvin king bed is from Room & Board (about $1,500); the blanket and pillows are from Crate & Barrel.

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The master bathroom features a 64-inch Biscayne tub from Hydro Systems ($4,184). 

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The house’s relative isolation makes it possible to leave the automated window coverings open most of the time. So as not to distract from the view, the couple opted to avoid color in the guest bathroom. The fixtures are from Hansgrohe.

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An ipe-wood deck runs the length of the house, as does an eight-foot overhang that provides shade during the summer. The windows were built to withstand 135-mile-an-hour winds.

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The garage, which is attached to the house on the right side and covered in the same corrugated steel cladding, is large enough for two cars and the homeowner’s many bicycles. The long horizontal window offers a spectacular view from his workbench.

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The house sits high up on the ridge, with not much but scorched landscape surrounding it, but it is only about 15 minutes from downtown Boulder.

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Photos: Jeremy Bittermann Photograpy for NY Times

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