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Unconventional New Approaches to the Traditional Ski House

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So often when hunting for high-end properties in ski country, we run into the same tired log cabin aesthetic, with Native American-inspired prints, heavy leather furniture, mounted moose heads, and other Western clichés. Luckily, there are some owners and designers willing to brave a chilly reception from the neighbors in pursuit of something more unique. No one has turned the log home on its head more than New Mexico-based AD100 architect Antoine Predock. The Log Jam House was built in Colorado for a couple of New Yorkers, one of whom specializes in disequilibrium theory at Columbia Law School. He should feel right at home in the house, which has logs spearing through the rear facade, curved walls, and a curious arrangement of windows. The three-bedroom modern cabin's otherwise sleek interiors were featured in the January 2008 issue of Architectural Digest.

? Arch Digest also profiled this far more conventional log home, this time in Aspen, Colo., renovated to a modern taste by Atelier AM. The firm benefited from the architect's choice of spruce wood, which lend the place a much lighter feel than the usual log mansion, but used a contemporary Californian eye to really transform the space. The living room (above) features a blackened steel fireplace, contemporary art, and sleek (but cushy) furnishings.

? For something a little more attainable, Dwell chimes in with this modern build in Winter Park, Colo. Constrained by the size of the lot and wanting to keep parts of the existing ranch house, the owner commissioned architect Michael P. Johnson, who designed a glassy cantilever over the driveway to house the living and dining room. According to the owner, it "feels like a treehouse," despite disregarding a local zoning board suggestion to add some "log accents."

? Not that log accents are all bad, as this Montana mansion can attest. Designed by southern designer Ray Booth, the interiors of this Yellowstone Club spread were featured in Elle Decor, most likely for their cosmopolitan feel with hints at the mountain zone classics. The living room uses stacked stone for the fireplace surround and raw wood beams on the ceiling, but the wood is lighter and the stone is joined by clean-lined beige furniture.

? Building a five-story mini-skyscraper in the middle of the Colorado wilderness might only have been the brainchild of a New Yorker and Manhattan-based starchitect Annabelle Selldorf is the one responsible. This high-floor bedroom might not be the most child-friendly, but the wire barrier provides unencumbered views, as does the sheer quantity of glass.

· Log Jam House [Antoine Predock Architect]
· A Not So Log Cabin [Arch Digest]
· A Contemporary Colorado Lodge [Arch Digest]
· Ski Lift [Dwell]
· High & Mighty [Elle Decor]
· Pika House [Selldorf Architects]