- Our Firm
The idea for Steel Away was to design an intimate getaway for two that would also expand to offer a comfortable gathering place for grown children and their expanding families. It needed to be a private mountain retreat that integrated the clean, contemporary lines of the homeowners’ cosmopolitan Washington D.C. lives with the casual qualities of the local landscape and community.
Most of the time, this would be a cozy home for two - so that’s where our design focus began. Expanded secondary spaces were organized around one main centralized great room. The primary living area is easily accessible from all the rooms, encouraging shared experiences among visiting family members.
A casual rustic character is accomplished with local hand-hewn pine columns and rough timber trusses that create the roof support for the entire home. Exposed structural steel beams, custom cable railings, and an open configuration enhance the contemporary overtones, consistent with the clients’ preferred aesthetic. The use of structural bays within the exterior building envelope allows the exterior walls to become an infill of transparent glass connecting the home with the surrounding forest. Through these open glass bays, a strong visual connection is maintained between the house’s structural support system and the surrounding fir and pine forestry.
Our clients tend towards an appreciation of their environment. Even though Steamboat feels like wild, open space to many, the grounds surrounding homes in town are generally compact, creating a community environment. As such, at the request of most of our clients, a connection with the exterior world is created through design. Architecturally, many of our homes utilize high ceilings for a feeling of expansion as well as glass and wood to mimic forests and invite, at least visually, the outside world in.