Project: Vista Drive Pavilion
Architects: Studio B Architecture + Interiors
Lead Architect: Mike Piche
Structural Engineer: PH Structure
Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States
Area: 5504 ft2
Photographs: James Florio
Text by Studio B Architecture + Interiors
Inspired by the works of artist Robert Kelly, the Vista Drive Pavilion is a composition of solids and voids enjoying varying levels of transparency. The house is a charcoal trapezoid capped with a unique 5-ridge metal roof. The public spaces weave throughout the plan remaining open and inviting, while the ‘solid’ spaces, the private rooms, are intimate and comforting.
The interior ceiling follows the rooflines resulting in unique configurations in each space refracting natural light and is lower over intimate rooms and taller over public spaces. The light-filled interior develops a visual and physical connection to the adjacent gardens with each aperture offering its own daylight as the day unfolds.
The interior material palate of white walls and white oak floors yield restrained modern spaces that remain illuminated and inviting. The kitchen in the open plan, is a dark central core reflecting the blackened exterior, drawing attention to itself as the focal point and heart of this modern residence. The rest of the plan pinwheels from the kitchen as a play of solids and voids. In the evening, the blackened exterior fades into the darkness, leaving a uniform glow where the portals occur. What remains, is a black floating silhouette containing a collage of form and light.
The south-facing roof was designed to integrate a 14kw Photovoltaic system into the architectural form, performance, and color. The angle and orientation allow the panels to maximize efficiency throughout the day, while the dark color allows the panels to blend seamlessly into the roof.
The highly insulated building envelope allows for several unique design opportunities. Zip-R continuous exterior insulation and sheathing was used utilized to yield a high-performing R-27 wall with R-6 continuous insulation. The added thickness of continuous insulation on the exterior of the structure creates a feeling that the structure floats lightly above the ground while allowing for integrated, flush downspouts and gutters.
Sustainability sourced wood product were selected for the project as a renewable resource. The wood chosen is locally available, requires low energy to produce and is recyclable / biodegradable, providing a sustainable full lifecycle product. Its warmth, ease of use and natural aesthetics made it a great choice for sustainable design. The exterior Acoyya wood is FSC and Cradle to Cradle Certified™.
A 14kw Photovoltaic system was seamlessly integrated into the architecture to provide on-site energy production. The house was modeled to ensure the power generated would meet user demands. In addition, Energy star appliances, low flow water fixtures, and electric car outlets were provided. Together, the highly insulated building envelope, efficient heating and cooling system, and high efficiency boilers reduce the loads of systems in the house.
In addition, the multiple zones and controls provide efficiency by conserving energy demands. Abundant natural day light floods the house through Low-E, high efficiency glazing, skylights and light wells. This not only provides a sense of wellness, but also minimizes the need for artificial light during the day. LED light fixtures limit the energy use during the night, and motion detectors in closets and bathrooms ensure lights turn-off when not in use.
Abundant natural day light floods the house providing a sense of wellness and health. The large skylights and window wells allow light to penetrate all levels of the house. Large, covered deck spaces provide sheltered gatherings on all sides of the structure, encouraging the user to engage the outdoors and connections with the outdoors spaces. Each hallway or corridor terminates with a glimpse to the outside. The large, inviting front porch encourages interactions with neighbors and activates the neighborhood.
Existing and new trees provide shading to a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces. Large operable windows and doors, an engineered mechanical system, and Low V.O.C products provide fresh air and healthy indoor air quality. A water purification system was supplied along with low-flow water fixtures.
The Vista Drive Pavilion is within walking distance to public bus transportation and the City of Boulder’s vast network of bike paths and trails. The personal gym provides a place to exercise at home when not participating in one of Boulder’s many outdoor activities.