INSIDE OUT HOME
Provided: Architecture + General Contracting
Location: Boulder, CO
Completed: Summer 2016
The family home of tres birds workshop founder and lead architect Mike Moore was an unconventional deconstruction/reconstruction project through which tbw pioneered a new narrative on architecture.
Originally built by a University of Colorado sculpture professor in the mid-80s, the home was a 24 x 24’ box with a perfect 12 -12 gable roof, thoughtful apertures, beneficial passive solar, and no detailing. Moore and family lived in the home for many years before launching the remodel, and opted to live on-site throughout the three-month construction process...a reflection of the family's general audacity towards adventure.
The project began with a detailed evaluation of all usable materials. Components were then strategically removed and reconfigured—the galvanized steel roof employed as siding, and wood framing from the garage floor repurposed to create the new, exposed roof structure.
Due to the soil quality in the area, the original house was built on caissons, allowing tres birds architecture to add a second floor without reinforcing the foundation. Existing windows were replaced with highly efficient, aspect tuned, Anderson glass and east facing walls were opened up, providing unobstructed views of the trees outside.
The new structure boasts significant solar gain in the winter and minimal solar gain in the summer. Rigid insulation floats between the inside-out wood framing and galvanized steel siding, eliminating thermal breaks. The exterior was painted with fluid applied waterproofing, a new product designed to mitigate seams in the building envelope. And the entire house functions on solar energy, a result of photovoltaic solar panels positioned on the south facing roof.
The new narrative spotlights structure as design: no drywall, no masking, an elimination of all nonessentials. Instead, structural plywood framing remains uncovered—a vast swath of lightly oiled douglas fir. The golden hues of the wood contrast with large views of rich green foliage, making each appear more vibrant. The result is dynamic, calming, sound-dampening, and unconventional.
In the bathroom, handmade porcelain tile lines the walls in a subtle ROYGBIV arrangement, starting with pinks and reds in the bath area. Tiles were purchased from a Boulder County artist who had sold primarily through Anne Sacks for 45 years. In that time, he had amassed a sizable collection of rejects, 7 tons of which tres birds purchased in 2016.
The kitchen, designed for efficiency, pairs wood framing with a black slate floor. Asymmetrical burnt wood cabinets line the walls, each space carefully sized to the objects inside, and designed such that all cabinets can be open at once without infringing on headspace.
On the outside, grey stucco detailing compliments the galvanized steel, and is framed by vegetable gardens, native grasses, tall trees, and Moore’s beekeeping operation. The home is now tightly detailed but discrete, nestled into the surrounding environment.
For more of our work visit: tresbirds.com