A design studio in the heart of the Rocky Mountains

Get In Touch

DNA Alpine

DNA Alpine is a series of secluded cabins that rest high in the alpine landscape of the San Juan Mountains. The main house, garage, and sauna buildings hug the sloping topography and nest into stands of mature Engelmann spruce trees, preserving the gently undulating meadow beyond.

Having spent many years exploring the mountainous landscapes of Colorado, this unique site holds special revere for the client. Accessible by car only in summer, occupants must reach the cabins by snowshoe in the winter months. Given the remote, especially undeveloped land, the project required a number of specific responses to the environment.

Designed as a family getaway, DNA Alpine serves as a quiet secondary home for a couple, and as a place to gather family and friends. Multifunctional spaces were introduced to the program in order to tighten the footprint of the buildings and limit disturbance to the site.

DNA Alpine Entry Detail CCY Architects
DNA Alpine living room Jeremy Bittermann image CCY Architects
DNA Alpine Kitchen J Eremy Bittermann image CCY Architects
DNA Alpine Powder CCY Architects Draper White images
DNA Alpine CCY Architects winter sauna
DNA Alpine Exterior Dusk Jeremy Bittermann image CCY Architects

Responding to the owner’s interest in synthetic biology, the copper façade is composed of a series of profiles arranged in a pattern derived from the DNA sequence of the Engelmann Spruce trees that tower over the land. The angle of each profile is slightly different, creating a subtle distortion in the reflection of the landscape that transforms as the light changes.

Together, the roof forms of the three structures shift and fold to mimic the sloping landscape while opening the interior spaces to dramatic views of the San Juan Mountains.




San Miguel County, Colorado

Project Size

4,000 SF

70 Acres

Primary Scope

Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Interior Finishes

Interior Finishes and Furnishings by Arnelle Kase

Primary Materials


Share This:

  • Copy Link