Modernist treehouse in the Rocky Mountains

Hiller Residence-01-1 Kind Design

Resolutely minimalist in style, the Hiller Residence in Winter Park, Colorado, turns its back on tradition to focus on its Rocky Mountain setting. When artist and designer Ruth Hiller bought a quarter-acre plot in Winter Park, Colorado, almost nine years ago, she decided she wanted a living space that felt more like the interior of her New York City loft than the area’s prevailing mountain lodges and log cabins. So she hired Michael P. Johnson of Cave Creek, Arizona, a modernist architect with more than half a century of experience designing eloquently minimalist spaces, to create a 2,994 square foot residence that defied tradition.

Hiller Residence-02-1 Kind Design

Here is a description of the project from the architect, “The client, Ruth Hiller, a fine arts painter and corrective exercise specialist, purchased a 1950′s single storey home located in Winter Park, Colorado. Ruth, a single woman, approached Michael P. Johnson Design Studios Ltd. with the challenge to remodel this poorly designed building in a manner within a minimalist design ethic.

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With little to work with it was suggested that the existing residence be removed and relocated elsewhere. Working with the existing basement foundation a two storey solution allowed the living, dining, and kitchen to fly above the dense evergreen forest.

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The lower level contains two master bedroom suites, entry and a commons room. The basement was designated for use as a painting studio with natural light borrowed by the use of light wells located on the west elevation. A 44.5 cm. X 44.5 cm. full body porcelain tile was selected for its beauty and durability for the entire lower level. The use of a single tile color unifies the total space allowing the free flow from room to room.”

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Photos: Bill Timmerman