Palisade Farmhouse project update, June 2018

We are getting ready to start construction on the Palisade Farmhouse.  The old house will be demolished in the next week or so and the excavation for the new project will follow immediately afterward.

Palisade Farmhouse model image 01.jpg

After a number of interviews, the Owners selected McPherson Custom Builders as the General contractor.  They have extensive experience in the area and their quality of construction is excellent.   

Palisade Farmhouse sketch plan 01.jpg

The costs of construction in the Grand Junction area are considerable less than along Colorado's Front Range.  However, like all projects, the budget is stressed as we try to optimize all the materials selections, balancing long- and short-term costs.

Palisade sunset.JPG

Palisade is a magical place and we are really excited to move to the construction phase.  The lush green valley floor is dramatically surrounded by dry, rugged mesas.  This multi-generational farmhouse will be the anchor for the family peach farm and hopefully contribute a small instance of human scale to this starkly beautiful landscape.

school building architecture - post-war

Waggener High School, aerial photo
Waggener High School, aerial photo

I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and attended suburban Mayme S.  Waggener High School.  I have written previous posts about Hyper-Attenuated Building Syndrome, and it only recently occurred to me that this building is in fact a prime example.  Its plan proportions are something like 12:1 - a long, lean, learning machine.

What I remember the most is the unendingly-long hallways.  Or maybe I should say "hall", for although there are a few transverse ones, the overall plan of the school is one long, continuous, locker-lined hallway.

Waggener High School, original building
Waggener High School, original building

The building is also a good example of that kind of generic, bland international style design that was so ubiquitous after World War II and has made most Americans hate Modernism.  The long bands of windows and panels are systemized and designed more for the speed and cost of construction than anything else.  Like a jamb-band live, it could conceivable go on forever.

Waggener High School, window bands
Waggener High School, window bands

The building opened in 1954, originally as a Junior High School.  It grew as its population expanded and aged and it became a combined Junior and High School soon thereafter.  Anyone who grew up in eastern Jefferson County knows this building not because of its unique character, but because so many of the schools around that part of the county are nearly identical.  Maybe only the red doors, painted in the school colors, distinguishes this building from so many others.

Waggener High School, side entrance
Waggener High School, side entrance

A machine for learning.  Maybe.  Maybe not so much.

On the boards, Sept 2017

Along with the projects under construction that we highlighted in the last post, we have a number of really interesting projects in various design phases.


The project image above is from an extensive remodel to a split-leve house in South Boulder.  A number of different contractors are looking at the project and we hope to start construction in the next few weeks.

On the verge of submitting for building permits, we have two very different new single-family houses.

The first, below, is located on a steep mountainside just outside of the ski town of Breckinridge, Colorado.  Angled against the surrounding topography, the house looks out across the valley to a panoramic view of the ski slopes and the Continental Divide.


Painter model 01.jpg
Park model 17.jpg

A very different house, with a model image above, is being designed for a busy, corner location near downtown Boulder, Colorado within the Mapleton Hill Historic District.  This project as gone through an extensive design review process with the city's Landmarks Board and is finally striking a strong balance between a contemporary expression and neighborhood compatibility.

A very different approach is being taken with a small, first-phase, design of a mountain house outside of Golden, Colorado.  Designed for a young couple, the house is designed to be added on in the future, to expand as the family does and gradually take command of its dramatic site.


GD Preliminary model 04.jpg

Finally, one of our most interesting projects is the design of a multi-generational house compound on a peach farm in Palisade, Colorado.  The design envisions a larger house for the gathering of three sisters and their families along with a smaller cottage.  Located alongside the main irrigation canal, the house ad cottage sits in an amazing bowl of space, a lush orchard surrounded by beautiful but harsh rocky mesas.

Palisade 01.jpg

Project Updates, Sept 2017

As the summer comes to a close, we have a number of great project under construction in Boulder.

Toan Sept 2017.JPG

We are well under way with the tricky excavation below a 100-year old house on West Arapahoe.  We will be placing the old brick house on a new concrete foundation and then constructing a new addition to the recently Landmarked property.


Strynar Sept 2017.JPG

Framing is just starting on two projects in South Boulder.  Above, a new second-story addition and two tower-like smaller additions are going to be added to a classic, 1960s ranch house, maintaining its mid-century form and subtle brick coursing.

Also in early framing is this house, below, alongside Martin Park in South Boulder.  A large, traditional gable-front addition will more than double the size of the existing house and compliment its prominent corner location.


Whitcher Sept 2017.JPG

Finally, our carefully crafted large addition on Vassar Drive is coming to a close.  The rails and stairs are being installed and final painting and details are being executed in anticipation of our client's move-in.  This project has been a great collaboration between ourselves and the clients and we are really looking forward to seeing the house occupied and used as we have been dreaming of and working toward for many months.