Colorado-based architect Renée del Gaudio excels at rugged modernism, translating the state’s vernacular architectural forms into swoon-worthy modern homes. The latest from her firm is Big Cabin | Little Cabin—a pair of weathered wood structures perched atop a cliffside overlooking the Sangre de Cristo mountains, Collegiate Peaks, and South Platte River. And it’s entirely solar-powered, too.
The two rectangular volumes both stand on a large raised platform made of rusting, perforated metal. The larger of the two structures—which houses an open-plan living room, dining area, kitchen, gym, loft, and master bedroom—rests at an angle across the diagonal of the platform, with about half of the building cantilevered over the rocky ground. The second, smaller structure runs parallel to the platform edge and holds an additional two guest bedrooms.
Both buildings are clad in silvery cedar siding, with corrugated metal roofs. Inside, a palette of humble materials includes plywood paneling, exposed beams, and wide plank floors.
The home was designed for energy efficiency, with efficient appliances and LED lighting throughout, in addition to open cell foam insulation, multi-paned windows, and shutters that can be rolled into place to reduce solar gain in summer. A 3kW array of solar panels generates the energy needed to power the site.