Maclean Residence

Grand Junction, Colorado

Perched on a ridge in the shadow of the towering sandstone walls of the Colorado National Monument, this 3,800 sf residence occupies a rocky desert site in the Redlands Mesa golf community. While hiking in this area before the development, we came across two eagles flying low over the rocks. The image left a vivid memory.

The residence thus evolved as an abstraction of the eagles, with roof planes lifting outward from the main body, and shaded volumes below clad in local stone, glass, and stucco. Views to the colorful cliffs of Colorado National Monument helped organize the plan along an east-west axis, opening the kitchen and long axis through the living room to the primary views and sunlight.

The lifting roof planes became large, two-way cantilevers that shade both indoor and outdoor space. Thick stone walls help connect the building to the site, and also carry heavy exposed beams along the major axes of the house.

The owners asked for a house with a “warm feel” and “casual elegance”, and that the house design not borrow from the style of another culture, but rather blend with the surrounding landscape. Sandstone courses were set on a sloping bed to mirror the uplifts in background cliffs, and the stucco color was carefully matched to the landscape.  Trees on the site were protected during construction and served as anchors in the new landscape. Views of the nearby cliffs were carefully framed from each room. High clerestory windows reinforce the open/airy feeling inside and provide a dramatic pattern at night from the outside.