This house sits on a steeply sloping site just west of Boulder up Sunshine Canyon.  A critical regionalist response, the design posits a series of thick stone walled perimeters within which the house’s enclosure takes partial occupation.


The house is a combination of both traditional and modern architectural languages,  a reinterpretation of an Italian hilltown.

kitchen 01

The exterior of the house is Oklahoma brown stone with New Mexico buff sandstone sills and lintels.  Above the stone walls, a surrounding steel beam separates the vertical walls of the house from the rusting corrugated steel hip roofs.

LR window 01

Throughout the house, the walls of the house pull back from the large stone walls to reveal terraces and balconies, shading the windows and doors and providing another layer of domestic space within the rugged landscape.

master suite 01

The approach to the house is through a central courtyard, with the entry into the house through a series of retractable doors revealing the views to the east.

front doors 02

The large interior spaces are broken down with a series of smaller, box-like interior rooms that sit within the space of the larger rooms.


The effect is almost like a re-occupation of the stone-walled compound, creating layers of space both public and private, that are unveiled as you make your way across the house.

Steeping with the hillside, the house does not present itself with a large entry facade, but is in a sense hidden from the initial view, traveling with the landscape and creating an interior landscape of hills and valleys, peaks and plateaus.


In the plan above, the yellow areas are enclosed portions of the house, the green areas are covered exterior spaces and the blue areas are uncovered, walled sections.  The layers of interior and exterior spaces do not attempt to meld interior and exterior spaces like modernist architecture might, but rather intertwine them.


Originally designed by Mark Gerwing while principal at Arcadea with David Biek, Brian Nelson and Stacey Root, the project was continued and completed by M. Gerwing Architects.  The general contractor was Cottonwood Custom Builders, Jeff Hindman and Scott Reardon.  The exterior landscape is not yet complete, by Hidelly Kane.

One thought on “Sunshine Canyon house, Boulder, Colorado

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