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“We wanted it to be light, not a thing that blocks your view,” says architect Chris Davis of the pavilion, which comprises a sitting area, furnished by interior designer Jessica Doran, and a bar on the solid back wall. A storage room is hidden behind the bar. Photo by Raul Garcia

An Unexpected Outdoor Escape in Cherry Hills Village

This modern pavilion celebrates everything we love about springtime in Colorado.

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Who among us hasn’t dreamed of soaking up Colorado’s glorious sunny days in a secluded outdoor room? (Vistas! Fresh air! No dirty dishes in sight!) With help from Boss Architecture’s co-founder and principal Chris Davis, a couple living on a three-acre lot in Cherry Hills Village made that fantasy a happy reality by adding a handsome pavilion to their property. “From here, you can look back at the house, or out toward the property’s landscape,” Davis says of the 15-by-35-foot outdoor room positioned on a manicured lawn to the east of the couple’s low-slung, modern home. It’s a middle ground—“a place to reflect,” he says—which the homeowners and their guests access by walking alongside an 80-foot-long koi pond, then crossing a small pedestrian bridge that leads over the water and directly into the pavilion’s inviting sitting area.

A tranquil koi pond leads from the Cherry Hills Village main house to the steel-and-ipe-wood outdoor pavilion. Photo by Raul Garcia

The structure isn’t just a pretty place. It’s also a smart solution to a site-specific challenge: water mitigation. Runoff from adjacent land required the architects (and a civil engineer) to work out a detention system that prevents flooding. The pavilion sits atop this system on piers, creating the illusion of a building “floating” above the ground. “After a big rain, the land under the pavilion does fill up with water for a short time before it drains,” Davis says. “We tried to make a beautiful thing [from a technical challenge].”

The slatted structure gets its good looks from a design Davis says was inspired by work he and Boss principal Kevin Stephenson were doing in Mexico around the time this project was on the boards. Made of ipe—a dense Brazilian hardwood that’s ideal for Colorado’s dry, sunny climate—and structural steel, the pavilion is not just perfect on a blue-sky day. A canvas sun sail clips onto the slats to protect the space from rain, creating a comfortable spot to start the day or enjoy an evening glass of wine almost year-round. “We tell all our clients: In Colorado, a place with nearly nine months of beautiful days, you’ll never be sorry you invested in an outdoor space,” Davis says. We couldn’t agree more.

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