Case Study: Bachelor Gulch Residence
The builder Schafer Construction and the design firm VAg Inc. Architects and Planners stay very busy in Bachelor Gulch, a scenic rocky mountain resort village about a half-hour easy drive from Vail. With a stream of projects, the designers and contractors have established a classic language of mountain lodge-inspired homes, with bold exposed timbers and rough hewn slabs of stone.
The architect Brian T. Judge, AIA, LEED AP, the founding principal of VAg, is known throughout the U.S., the Caribbean and Mexico for resort architecture and planning as well as green building principles – as well as “the preservation of the natural environment and to the advancement of sustainable building practices.” In fact, Judge is behind a recent continuing education series on Green Building Practices and a client educational series, called “Value-Added Design in a Green Economy.”
“With the unique capabilities of the NanaWall opening glass doors, including zero-clearance thresholds, it’s the solution for seamless integration of craftsmanship and lifestyle."
Embracing an Indoor/Outdoor Connection Year-round
Both of these ideas – lifestyle arts and green building – are on display in VAg’s recent house in Bachelor Gulch, a stone-and-wood composition which features mixed-width plank flooring and a memorable slab fireplace surround.
According to Steve Hooker of Schafer Construction, “Many clients call for open patios and decks, since we have such awesome weather here. People want to open it up to the outdoors.” In this case, he says, the architect selected the NanaWall WD66 and HSW65 to open up the living area to a balcony with a fabulous gulch view.
“The design is just trying to use the outdoors indoors, and NanaWall is well known for large openings,” says Hooker, adding that the architect specified the brand over such options as sliding and bi-fold doors.
One of the firm’s designers, Christy D'Agostina, adds that certain features of the operable glass wall made it the ideal choice.
“With the unique capabilities of the NanaWall opening glass doors, including zero-clearance thresholds, it’s the solution for seamless integration of craftsmanship and lifestyle,” says D'Agostina, reflecting the firm’s design leadership. “When the NanaWall is open, family and friends hear the calming waters over the glacier granite rocks, while taking in panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains.”
The use of indoor-outdoor design gestures is becoming more common in hospitality venues, and Hooker sees the same trend for the mountain homes near Vail.
“We’ve done a handful over the years, using similar products on the market, from large sliding and bi-fold doors to the operable glass walls,” says Hooker, whose role with Schafer Construction is manager of preconstruction. “With NanaWall’s tracks, and the ceiling mounts, the installed systems make the interiors look architecturally right.”
Performance and Durability
NanaWall’s wood-framed WD66 – called “the Standard Wood Framed Folding System” in the industry – is ideal for residential folding or paired-panel wood framed installations. It is also used widely for hospitality and other commercial applications, making it a go-to spec for firms like VAg.
Designed to provide a durable, weather-resistant opening glass wall or storefront for widths up to 39 feet, NanaWall’s WD66 will be a popular and lasting choice in the wilds of Bachelor Gulch.