Charles Haertling Remodel
Remodeling a Boulder Design Icon.
Whether you’re a Boulder CO. native, transplant, or well-versed in the architecture and design world, you’ve likely heard of Charles Haertling. Haertling was a prominent architect in Colorado during the mid-20th century, whose work is unmistakable. Known for designing unique, modern homes, Haertling’s niche lies in his ability to incorporate design elements from and inspired by the surrounding landscape. His work is often characterized by clean lines, geometric shapes, and an emphasis on natural light and the use of natural materials such as wood and stone.
The integration of these attributes and materials results in designs that are illustrative of Haertling’s deepest love and inspiration; the Colorado Natural Landscape. Though largely inspired by the mountains, rocks, and forests of Colorado, Haertling’s pieces do anything but blend in. A standing fusion of modernism with organic architecture, Haertling’s work almost seems to contradict itself – it does not fit in any conventional box, but rather stands alone as completely original in style and structure. Haertling achieves this degree of uniqueness by daring to venture into the gray area between juxtaposing architectural styles. It is also notable that Haertling didn’t seek these obscure shapes and styles just for the sake of being nonconformist; he diligently interviewed clients for days, often steering homeowners to other architects if he didn’t feel like the project was a good fit. Deeply valuing the integrity of his art, Haertling never worked on a project that didn’t feel genuine to him and chose to work with clients who trusted his creative agency and thought abstractly alongside him.
In addition to their structural ode to the landscape, Haertling’s homes are also known for their use of color and pattern, often featuring bright, bold hues and playful geometric motifs. Each piece of work is entirely unique, and tailored to a specific client and/or inspiration.
Factor Design Build Remodel: Seven Hills Drive
We have had the pleasure, here at Factor, to work on one of Haertling’s designs in Boulder, CO.! We are renovating multiple spaces in this multi-leveled home, and have thoroughly enjoyed spending time in the iconic space.
One of the pillars of Haertling’s work is the commitment to mimic nature’s balance of form and function. We are standing by this pillar of his work as we remodel the space in a way that keeps true to the original architecture and design but modernizes it to make the space more user-friendly for the homeowner. One of our main intentions in this remodel is to open up and refinish the space to make it more equipped for hosting, while maintaining the original structure and Scandinavian design.
We got to sit down with the Haertling project’s designer and architect, Lindsay Weist and Dain Carlson, to learn about the renovation process, project highlights, and all-around experience of working on such an iconic home. Here’s what they had to say;
Q: From an interior design perspective, how would you describe the original home vs the plans for re-design?
“We will be maintaining the original Scandinavian design, including color tones of clean neutrals, wood tones, beige, and white. As for the garage space, we are giving it what we call a “Fluff and buff”- revitalizing it, opening up the space, and redoing the finishes. Overall, we are staying very true to the original design. The changes we are making within the interior design scope are going to remain very cohesive with the existing Scandinavian style – remaining simple, clean, and functional.”Lindsay Weist; Interior Designer
“Architecturally speaking, we are working with the structure of this home to maintain the unique shapes, but open them up to add more spaciousness. This involves taking out a wall or two, adding bi-fold doors, direct set windows, and some custom shaped doors, windows and walls to align with the overhanging roof line.”Dain Carlson; Architect
Q: What have you enjoyed most about working on a Haertling home?
“It is pretty surreal to work on such a beautiful, iconic home in such a beautiful setting. I’ve really enjoyed our focus on letting the architecture speak for itself. It is a special opportunity to work with clients who really value the artistry of using all natural and locally sourced materials.”Lindsay Weist, Interior Designer
“My favorite part of Factor’s work is the way we opened the dining space to the kitchen and rear deck with a large bi-fold door that opens the whole space to the boulder slope behind the house, strengthening the already strong connection to the natural surroundings.”Dain Carlson, Architect
Q: Are there any challenges that come with working on a structural piece like this?
“It provides a fun challenge to work within the parameters of the original design. It challenges us to get creative, think critically, stay flexible, and come up with solutions that simultaneously honor the original structure and meet the client’s vision. For example, we are crafting a polygon shaped window to suit the shape of the unique overhanging roofline.”Lindsay Weist, Interior Designer
“From an architectural standpoint, the space needs and expectations of homeowners fifty years ago were very different from today’s. The exterior forms are so strong and pure that adding on to the exterior can be very difficult or impossible without destroying the original architect’s design concept, so the design team tried really hard to maintain the house’s exterior forms and interior plan layouts by shoehorning our new plan changes into the existing forms. The Savig house is basically a simple square with large cantilevered trapezoidal wings that reach out into landscape to take advantage of views.”Dain Carlson, Architect
Q: What would you say are the most standout features in this home?
“As with all Haertling homes, this home compliments and plays off of the natural landscape. The angles of structure work to make a peak, which suits the surrounding mountain and rock formations, while also including a garage that is banked into the typography of the surrounding area. The garage has a green roof that is an extension of the landscape around the structure. It is really incredible. There is also so much natural lighting that we get from the huge windows. All of these features really co-create the feeling that you are a part of the mountain landscape.”Lindsay Weist; Interior Designer
“I personally really love the existing dining space, which sits up in a little loft space above the living room ,so it almost feels as if you’re a bird safe in its nest high in the treetops.”Dain Carlson; Architect
Needless to say, we are incredibly excited and honored to have the opportunity to work with this Haertling design and lean into the challenge of modernizing it while also increasing the functionality of the space. Holding firmly to the design and inspiration, it’s safe to say that this incredible Haertling home will remain an installation that celebrates the beauty of Boulder, CO.
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