Architecture Profile

EXPERTS | Profile, Blueprints Gone Green – By Lauren Meredith

When Mark Quéripel began his work as an architect, he was determined to incorporate the latest sustainable materials into his design. Today, the founder and principle architect of MQ Architecture & Design is internationally recognized for his sustainable design and green building practices.

“You can build an incredibly efficient house without lots of technology; you just need to be aware,” says Quéripel. “A house must be functional first, but then it has to be beautiful too, or else you’ve missed the mark.”

With its own wind turbine, solar panels and hydronic heating, the Carpenter’s Cabin in Boulder was built entirely off-the-grid and received its LEED Gold Certification. The home, nestled against the Phantom Canyon Ranch Nature Conservancy, also used natural stone from the immediate area and native Colorado timber to form its rustic, open feel, while remaining entirely sustainable. Filled with whimsical, branch-shaped wrought-iron and expansive stone flooring, the Carpenter’s Cabin blends almost seamlessly into its mountain surroundings.

A combination architecture and design firm, MQ has the unique ability to design a functional, livable space with the homeowner in mind. “Filling a wall with glass is beautiful, but not always the best fit. We think about how homes will use furniture or if the layout allows people to move easily through the room,” says Quéripel.

Quéripel is passionate and honest as he describes the firm’s values of communication and creating a beautiful, sustainable home. “Good design can make a house feel loving and nurturing. Good design can make you feel uplifted. Efficiency and beauty are what make a house livable.”

MQ Architecture & Design, LLC
Boulder, CO
720.565.3929 |


EXPERTS | Profile, Open Architecture – By Lauren Meredith

When Justin Larson of Vaught Frye Larson Architects (VFLA) visited the McIntosh residence in Fort Collins, he discovered a 1960’s home with poor insulation, a failing mechanical system and a single, small window facing Long Pond, a large lake directly behind the home.

“A lot of the house didn’t make sense. The house is only about 350 feet from the lake and we really wanted to make sure it was opened up to the water,” says Larson.

Today, Larson says, the McIntosh family might not answer the front door—because they are always out in the back. VFLA remodeled the existing structure to create a connection to the lake and built a water feature that would extend to Long Pond. Drawing on their background that includes commercial construction, VFLA borrowed from restaurant design to create a 24-foot-wide glass “door” that opens out to a view of the water.

VFLA has a strong commitment to sustainable design. As Larson puts it, “Sustainability is a part of good architectural practice.” The firm uses LEED whenever it aligns with client goals. In the case of the McIntosh house, this meant positioning windows to take advantage of the lake’s natural cooling effects; reusing copper from the existing structure; and recycling all removed materials.

“Our goal is to always keep the homeowner in the driver’s seat,” says Larson. “A building should feel good inside, meet the budget and look great.”

Vaught Frye Larson Architects
Fort Collins, CO
970.224.1191 |