Cabin on Specie Mesa

San Miguel County, CO

The design for this cabin grew out of the clients' deep appreciation of the local landscape and the region’s traditional homesteads. Their goal was to build a small structure with the architectural character of those found historically in the region.

Following traditional patterns, they had chosen a location for the building at the edge of a grove of mature aspens on a large parcel of undeveloped open space which had been used for grazing cattle for many years. The choice of location and scale of the cabin help the building recede into the larger landscape.

The program requirements were minimal, and priority was given to quality of materials and workmanship over quantity of space and amenities.

Thick exterior walls with splayed window jambs maximize views of the landscape and wildlife from the interior, while maintaining the appearance of traditional openings on the exterior.

Reclaimed materials were used for timber framing flooring, paneling and siding. The fireplace was constructed of stone gathered locally. The roof was covered in corrugated steel, treated to rust.

Completed: 1991
General Contractor: Fortenberry Construction
Structural Engineering: Dean Bosworth P.E.
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