Walden House

Article by Carrie Davidson

Photography by Courtesy of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, Virtually Here Studios

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. “–Henry David Thoreau, Walden.

Twenty minutes outside of Vail, up a few private roads away from the bustle of Vail Village and away from the outside world, sits a one-of-a-kind piece of architecture. More than just a home, this is also a retreat into nature. Throughout the home, renowned architect Annabelle Selldorf masterfully melded modern elements with nature, nearly 70 acres of land, surrounding the home.

Throughout the designing process, the family for whom the home was built was clear to keep their inspiration at the forefront: the deliberate peace that you can find in nature, inspired mainly by Thoreau’s Walden.

Though this 10,000 square-foot-plus home is inspired by famed naturalist Henry David Thoreau’s work Walden, it represents a more comfortable encounter with the natural world.  

Tye Stockton, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty broker for this nearly 30 million dollar piece of real estate in West Lake Creek, says that to him, the house manages to feel so peaceful because of the deliberate planning of moments throughout the space.

“Part of the campaign that I go by is that the house and the setting are all about moments,” Stockton explains. “There are the moments when you sit in the house by the fireplace; there are the moments when you’re out on the property going on a hike; there are the moments when you’re paddleboarding on the lake…Each one of those areas was designed to have a purpose.”

The home exemplifies a balance between contemporary design and natural elements. Responsibly sourced beetle-kill pine added to the exterior of the home brings a modern philosophy to a classic mountain aesthetic that seamlessly blends into its surroundings.  

The home is nestled in unique topography in the Rocky Mountains. Simultaneously high enough in the mountains for endless views, but with enough spread that the home is sprawling ranch-style, save for the tower of three large bedrooms. The property has room enough for a pond and a pool, space for ATVs, and hiking trails abound.

With it’s floor to ceiling windows, high-caliber materials, thoughtful design, and unique architecture was intentionally designed not only to serve as not just a beautiful space, but a space for a family and friends, a space for gatherings, for adventures, and for reflection.

“They wanted people to feel like you were in the mountains and you could walk around in your wool socks if you wanted,” Stockton says. “...they never wanted it to feel formal or stuffy, or like people couldn’t feel relaxed.”

Between the seemingly endless space for recreation and the quiet moments to be found throughout the home, this reinterpretation of Walden offers a peaceful retreat from the fast-paced world, without taking you too far from the comforts of modern living.


The best places to apres ski in Vail if you want... 

To see a local legend

Head to Vail Chophouse to see Phil Long.

A young vibe

Stop into The Red Lion and soak up the sun on their patio.

An amazing meal

Make a reservation at Sweet Basil.

The best massage of your life

Check out The Sonnenalp Hotel's spa, and take a dip in their indoor/outdoor pool afterward.

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