Project Description2003 CHDA
Custom Kitchen / Merit Award
It's tough to give an award for a single outstanding room and not wonder about the rest of the house. That was especially true in the case of this Telluride, Colo., kitchen, whose complex geometry and arresting combination of materials left our judges anxious to know more. Playing it straight, we waited until after presenting the awards to ask project architect Larry Yaw for a bit of context.
Because the house sits on an exposed alpine-meadow site, Yaw says, “We had to create outdoor rooms.” The building's angular shell is ringed with what he calls “eddy spaces,” sheltered nooks that enjoy both privacy and open views of the surrounding peaks. Yaw applied the same scheme inside the house, with a clearly defined kitchen that remains open to the flow of the house around it. A high, curved wall of hand-stained concrete and a low wall of gunmetal steel topped with a walnut counter conceal the nitty-gritty kitchen work without cutting off visual contact from the adjacent living and dining rooms.
Surfaces that flow into the kitchen from those spaces—a limestone floor, board-on-board ceiling, and a wall paneled in standing-seam copper—connect the room with the larger volume around it. Precast concrete countertops, walnut cabinets, and a range and hood in dark patinaed copper further the very un-kitchenlike feeling. Our judges were struck by the room's bold geometry and creative combination of materials, which they called “rich” and “unexpected.” Wait until they see the rest of the house.