Mountain Mod

By Emily Baker|Photos By Bob Winsett Photography

BRECKENRIDGE IS NOT USUALLY a town associated with being on the cutting edge of architecture, but nestled amongst its tree-lined hills and cozy cabins is the bold and beautiful Canepa-Olson residence.

Suzanne Allen-Guerra, co-owner of the architecture firm responsible for the residence, described the house as mountain contemporary but “definitely with a more modern flair.” The lead architect was co-owner, Courtney Saldivar. This progressive home, engineered to host gatherings for the whole family, has a stark design that Allen-Guerra calls “almost industrial.”

Though the firm was responsible for the architecture, the design idea came from homeowner, Diane Canepa-Olson. She came to Allen-Guerra with pictures and inspiration, which the architects turned into drawings. “That’s what we pride ourselves on,” Allen-Guerra says. “Designing what clients come to us with.”

Canepa-Olson had this dream in the works for awhile. “I have rental properties that we have acquired and often have to fix up. Sometimes it’s just a fluff… and buff…, and sometimes you have to tweak it a good amount,” she says. “I’ve always played around with the mod, but because this was my own, I thought, I’m not holding back.”

Though Canepa-Olson has always liked modern style, much of the inspiration for the home also came from Denmark. “I went to school in Denmark,” she says. “Their designs are very contemporary, functional and everlasting. They just know what they’re doing over there.”

There are numerous modern aspects incorporated into the house, many of which are in vogue right now, according to Allen-Guerra. The house uses steel accents and steel in the structure. In addition, the corner windows and large glass walls are on-trend in architecture.

However, it’s not just the design of the house that is cutting edge; it is on the forefront of energy effˆciency as well. The side panels on the house are made from recycled plastic; the massive windows are made from industrial glass, which reduces energy bills; and the house incorporates a gray water landscaping system, which uses recycled water from the house to water the lawn.

The Canepa-Olson residence is certainly one-of-a-kind in Summit County. Restricted by numerous building regulations, the designers had a tough time pulling off… the design. However, with its state-of-the-art energy effˆciency and bold design, perhaps this home will trigger a new trend in mountain contemporary style.




ARCHITECT: Allen-Guerra Architecture
970.453.7002 |
BUILDER: Colvin Construction 970.453.9373
CABINETRY: Kitchenscapes Inc.›
970.453.7107 |