This modern alpine home in Stowe plays off the alpine appeal of town’s early ski homes. Designed by McLeod Kredell Architects, the footprint has four quadrants, each taking advantage of subtly different natural woodland surroundings. The quadrants have a simple roof form above, terminating with an angled prow that draws aesthetically from traditional A-frames that once dotted Vermont’s landscape. Each prow creates a sheltered area for an external living space, an outdoor shower, a parking area, and a loading area.
“I provided the architect, John McLeod, with a small order,” said the owner. “I knew I didn’t want extra bedrooms or a basement. I had been coming to Stowe to cross-country ski and had rented homes that had all that. For my own home I wanted it to be compact, with no wasted space that I wasn’t going to be utilizing. I outlined a living room, kitchen, bedroom, mud room, and a light-filled, airy workspace/pottery studio.”
Early on, the owner and McLeod visited the site on snowshoes. McLeod felt there was so much more than just the view to the south, and came up with the general concept and courtyard idea.
“I had seen two modern homes by Sisler Builders in the process of interviewing architects, so I had the comfort that Sisler was up to the task of constructing a non-traditional building,” the owner said. The house was a work in progress, taking a year to design and another year to build.
In hindsight, the owner came to realize and appreciate how much precision was required when building the home. “Everything had to match up exactly, there was no room for error. Everyone on Sisler Builders’ team understood that and brought it to fruition. Working with project manager Bryan Kelley was a treat. He didn’t miss a thing and there were so many little elements. Steve Sisler had his own insights and was a pleasure to work with, and Kelley was on site daily with his own ideas.”
Sloped ceilings throughout are paneled with beautiful, warm-toned, grain-matched Siberian larch, the world’s hardest softwood. Sisler Builders’ custom woodworking team played an important role, fabricating the modern, maple wood living room built-ins, kitchen cabinets, and floating built-ins that flank the bed’s headboard.
“I realize a one-bedroom home is unique in Stowe,” said the owner. “It took me awhile to get there, but a circle of ski friends does not get bigger as you grow older. Besides, I was building in Stowe, where there are so may housing options, so friends and family have plenty of places to stay.”
The owner says his favorite part of the house is the living area, where he spends most of his time. “I also love the bed tucked into the cozy niche, and the carport was a nice surprise.”
Monochromatic floor tile conducts radiant heat and a high-tech efficient wood fireplace adds warmth and ambiance. Roof-top solar panels offset electric usage. Concealed door hinges and architectural quirks at trim/plaster interfaces accentuate the home’s sleekness. As the owner requested, there is a designated place for everything.
Keith Wagner of Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture designed the low-maintenance landscaping, which consists primarily of river birches and landscape pebbles in square areas between the quadrants, and an iron-fenced courtyard on the north side of the house. The trees soften the exterior’s angular elements.
The owner is delighted with his modern alpine home in Stowe, and on days when driving to ski is not in the cards, he can easily access the nearby snowmobile trail for unlimited cross-country skiing, an unexpected bonus to the property’s location.