Saturday, October 18, 2014

Outside In: You, Me and Nature, Cozy Together

Ispiration is the “aha” moment that precedes the creative process; it’s the spark that stimulates the imagination — and of course, hands down, there’s nothing quite as inspiring as nature. The following is a peek at just some of the intriguing ways the pros and their clients have teamed up to bring the outdoors most definitely indoors. Granted, some of these creations are beyond the reach of most of us, but we can admire what inspired these design artists to do what they did. Using a bit of our own imagination, perhaps we will, in turn, be inspired to come up with wonderful ways to bring the outdoors in. The key in all the examples: calling on the elements and shapes of the local landscape.

Fluted cedar pillars make the point that the architect and homeowner were inspired by trees. Located in Colorado’s Grand County, which is 70 miles west of Denver and billed as the gateway to the Rocky Mountains, this home represents a combination of mountain architectural styles, says Paul Miller, cofounder of RMT Architects outside Vail. The centerpiece of the home, as Miller notes — and as we can surmise by the photograph — is the front entrance, “anchored by two huge trees.”

The property is called Hat Trick Ranch, and there is a surprise in store beyond the threshold. The trees come indoors. The cedar tree trunks are the organic underpinning of the design, but the details help hold it together, literally in the case of the custom metal connections and strapping. Also part of the detailing: Engelmann spruce and lodgepole pine logs.

The beauty here, beyond what one sees, is that the trees themselves got a different life. According to RMT architect Chad C. Salter, “The trees were standing dead and would have most likely been chipped due to the odd shape. We reused the whole tree by having them hand dug below the grade line and craned out without falling.” The trees are structural and came from Spearhead, a manufacturing company specializing in architectural timber and steel.

To get rid of any bugs, the trees were radio frequency kiln dried before they were milled and installed onsite. RMT didn’t do much to embellish the natural beauty of the wood, other than apply a clear lacquer finish — creating a picture-perfect indoor grove fit for a fairy tale.

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Outside In: You, Me and Nature, Cozy Together

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