On a windswept bluff high in the Rockies near Telluride in Southwestern Colorado is a remote and raw place. The air is thin and cool; the sun is bright and less hindered by the atmosphere than that found in most civilized human habitations. The site is spectacular in a timeless ancient way and provided the inspiration for the architect to build on the past. The history of the region and a stone outcrop on the site offers up clues to the solution Charles Cunniffe Architects realized for a unique and sophisticated client.
The rock found on the site had fractured off of the matrix of the sandstone through endless freeze-thaw cycles, gravity and the elements. The size of the rubble reminded our architects of the scale and coloration of the ancient masonry structures of the nearby and long ago Anasazi people. Indeed, the exposed cliff-like setting suggested the need for the strength and durability of the ancient building forms found in Anasazi structures.
It is no wonder that the owner, who chose to build this 11,800 square foot residence in such a remote and inhospitable place, would possess bravery and confidence in sufficient quantity to have become a success in life, and up to the challenge of inhabiting this uncompromising location.