The New Anti-Ski House – WSJ.com
When Karen Simon, a banking executive in Houston, decided to build a custom vacation home in Snowmass Village, Colo., the last thing she wanted was a replica of a Swiss chalet. “I didn’t want one gable in the entire house,” says the contemporary-design enthusiast.
Armed with pictures of modern homes, Ms. Simon asked for curves, open space and the maximum amount of glass allowed within the town’s building codes. Her architects, David Johnston and John Hufker in Aspen, Colo., designed a 4,950-square-foot home with barrel-vaulted roofs, stone exteriors and clear cedar siding more akin to a California contemporary than a Rocky Mountain retreat.
To combat the stark look that’s often associated with modern architecture—85 beams of steel support the home’s unconventional style—Ms. Simon chose soft creams and warm browns for the interiors. “There’s a lot of stone inside, but the feeling is soft and user-friendly,” she says.
After decades of traditional mountain design—heavy overhangs, a plethora of pine wood, a deer’s head hung in the entryway—ski homes across the globe are shedding the antlers. Homeowners once enamored with dark and cozy rustic retreats that shielded them from cold winter nights are now opting for sleek architecture that lets in lots of light, a look that has gained momentum in the past five years.