Godden Sudik Blog

Colorado’s favorite: Mountain Modern
Godden | Sudik Architects - February 10, 2021

March 15, 2021

What is Modern Mountain Style Architecture?

Mountain style architecture tends to lead an image of natural, heavy, textured, building materials. Some may think of it as a simple one-story rustic cabin in the woods dating back to 1800’s or visualize a large contemporary timber-framed home with gabled dormers and steep roofs, often mixing in natural stone that is native to its surrounding. 

Rustic Mountain home style architecture

However, Mountain-Modern takes a contemporary twist of the 1800’s rustic log cabin, using a similar aesthetic and material, but with modern details and luxuries. Elements such as reclaimed wood beams, exposed rafters and columns give the home a sturdy presence, able to protect from snow loads above. Often, instead of the more classic, square cabin windows, large steel framed windows around the house take full advantage of the natural views.        

Mountain modern interior and fireplace

As Mountain Modern becomes more contemporary in its details – one might ask where the line is between a Mountain Modern home and a contemporary home that’s set in the mountains. In contrast to the rough edges and natural aesthetic of Mountain Modern style, Modern style architecture was made to incorporate the principles minimalism.  This style of architecture was leading the way for corporate and institutional structures, before emerging into the home front in the 1930’s.  With this style of architecture, the emphasis was to have clean lines, large roof overhangs, lots of opportunities for natural light with ample amounts of glass.  Floor plans tend to be more open and well defined with the importance of form over function and allowing adjacent spaces to flow into one another.        

mountain modern steel and timber detail joint
modern contemporary minimalist timber home

But when you think of modern mountain architecture, what images come to mind?  In recent years this style of architecture has been an ever-growing and popular style that pushes limitations and expectations and incorporates both mountain style and modern features together.  It takes key features from both styles and share the common interest of the outside environment.  Home layout and design have come along way since the original mountain lodge and modern mountain offers a refresher on not only the interior space but the exterior space as well.  Often taking advantage of their natural settings, the main goal with modern mountain design is to bridge the gap to be able and bring the outside in along with blending the home with its surrounds.  Taking a cue from the modern elements, floor to ceiling windows offer the fullest of the views.  Uncluttered rooms that offer large layouts with tall ceilings lead to a brighter and calming atmosphere.  Often utilizing locally sourced materials, these low maintenance exteriors hold up well to the environment that they’re in making a lasting impression for years to come. 

Don Gibson

Senior Job Captain

Don’s interest in problem solving, creativity, and the love of the outdoors led him into architecture. He loves creating efficient spaces that are not only functional but unique. For most of his career he has focused on single family construction, large custom homes, and remodels.