Four years ago, this 4.5-acre property in Boulder, Colorado, was lush with old ponderosa pine and Douglas fir trees. But after a forest fire erupted in the area, burning down 162 homes, the site was reduced to granite outcrops and steep slopes. One of those homes belonged to local architect Renée del Gaudio and her family. With a blank slate, she transformed the barren site with the Sunshine Canyon House, a sustainable two-level home that takes advantage of the newfound vistas. Read more about the Sunshine Canyon Home, a home that artfully mixes the old with the new.
Eco-friendly home brings life back to fire-wrecked property
When coming up with the design concept, Boulder’s early 20th century roots in gold mining and farming inspired architect Renée del Gaudio. The two-storey home features corrugated metal cladding and industrial barn doors, which creates a fire-resistant, maintenance-free exterior.
On the second floor, the living room, which features a high-efficiency wood-burning fireplace, the dining area and kitchen are all connected. Running along one side of the house is a super spacious elevated patio, decked out with lounge chairs and breathtaking views. The bottom level houses three bedrooms.
Like the rest of the home, the kitchen is spacious and minimal, and perfect for entertaining. A cubic bookcase lines an entire wall and features a custom cutout furnished with a desk and pendant light.
All the glass in the house is coated with a low-emission film to boost efficiency and all windows are either double or triple-paned. A 3.6-kilowatt photo-voltaic array produces 100 percent of the homes electric energy. In the summer, rolling barn door shutters keep the house cool.
Located on the bottom level, the bathroom is light and airy.
After clearing 800 burned trees, the family raked the entire property to break up the soil, which had become hydrophobic from the fire. The extreme heat caused the soil to develop a waxy layer, preventing the soil from absorbing water. Once the soil was ready, the family spread seed for native grasses and wildflowers. Only 40 houses have been rebuilt since the fire.