1327 Balsam, Boulder
Contemporary New Construction Near Ideal Market
Imagine a single family home built with exacting attention to quality detail, that lives like a lock and leave penthouse, close to downtown and steps from Ideal Market, with unbelievable panoramic views. This impressive and distinctive property is truly one of a kind and visionary in its design and execution. 1327 Balsam was designed by Brian Fuentes, one of Boulder’s leading architects, distinguished for his forward thinking modern green design and built by Kevin Cooper, who is best known for his work in the Vail area, building many of the area’s finest homes.
At just over 4000 sf, with 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms and 900 sf of expansive south facing decks, the property benefits from unique zoning, making it exempt from traditional Bulk Plane building restrictions. This results in an amazing 3rd floor living space that appears to float above neighboring homes, resulting in phenomenal views of the Flatirons and Boulder’s foothills that are truly unparalleled. The zoning conditions that created this unique exemption cannot be replicated in any of Boulder’s residential zones.
Entering the home from the ground level, one is immediately struck by how the thoughtful attention to detail has translated into a tasteful home, clean in its design, with a feeling of incredible solidity and sophistication. The gleaming walnut floors are comprised of especially long 6 inch wide planks and are coated in a natural oil finish. The doors and trim throughout the home are all walnut – even the oversized 2 car garage is trimmed in walnut.
The entry level door opens onto a spacious mudroom, also accessed from the oversized 2 car garage and workshop. A walk in closet makes organization a breeze. Also on this level is a generously sized bedroom with north facing glass sliding doors to the back patio and yard. With an adjoining bathroom, this suite makes for an excellent guest, in-law or nanny suite with a dedicated entrance that is separate from the rest of the living space. With 220 V electric, this space is also ideal as a home office, studio, craft or workshop.
The stunning hand crafted steel stair rail from the entry to the second level is an indication of the quality that awaits on the upper two levels. The second level currently houses a large conference room, with soft wool carpet, and one of two master suites. For entrepreneurs, or for anyone who works at home, this is an enviable space – a comfortable, functional and spacious part of the home, yet detached from the main living space above. This space would also be well suited as a home theater or family recreation space. The master suite on this level boasts a large south facing deck and a bathroom with soapstone countertops, single slab soapstone shower pan in the large glass enclosed shower and an overflow soaking tub.
Arriving at the main floor living area on the 3rd floor, it becomes abundantly clear that there is nothing in Boulder that compares to this home. An expansive, open main living area comprised of kitchen, dining and living spaces flow seamlessly, with tall ceilings, anchored by exposed timber beams. Spanning the width of this magnificent room, and separated by two enormous glass sliding doors, is an outdoor living space that essentially doubles the interior living space. And then there are the views that are ever present from every vantage point. As if soaring through the treetops, at birds eye level, the panoramic views of the Flatirons and nearby foothills are simply breathtaking.
The kitchen features a large central island with granite countertop, inset with Dacor 6 burner range, ideal for cooking, gathering and entertaining. The white washed walnut cabinets were custom designed and made for this space. The cabinets along the south wall are topped by honed granite countertops and include an organizing desk, with two counter-to-ceiling windows to take in the ever changing light and views. One interior kitchen wall houses open shelving, pantry cabinets and the double ovens, while the other houses more pantry cabinets, the Freezer, Refrigerator and floor-to-ceiling Wine Refrigerator, all Gaggenau from Germany.
A built-in banquette serves as casual dining with plenty of flexible, open space for placement of an additional dining table, piano and living room furnishings. The outdoor living space also offers flexible open space for dining and living areas with an integrated gas grill and a large fire table custom fabricated for the space.
To the west of the main living area is the 2nd master bedroom, which walks out onto the South facing terrace. This master bathroom, clad in soapstone, features a stainless steel tub that lends enormous architectural interest along with large shower. All the bathrooms in the home have a consistent look and feel with soapstone surfaces, Barocca slab shower pans and tiles & Julia soapstone countertops with stainless steel sinks throughout.
To the north of the main living area are two well proportioned kid’s bedrooms with shared bathroom. This bathroom, with an oversized tub, and separate shower is clad in Barocca soapstone on walls, floors and Julia soapstone countertops.
The lighting throughout this home is also of superb quality, featuring custom designed LED from Splash Lighting. As a testament to the sophistication of the lighting in this home, the owner of Splash Light (a Master Electrician) put on his tool belt for the 1st time in 10 years to oversee the finish installation. High end touch light switches and unique outlets with pop out functionality are inlaid into the tile in kitchens and baths.
The 3rd floor is cantilevered over the entrance to the garage, creating covered parking for additional cars. The garage is oversized at 620+ sf with ample room for two cars, gear and workspace, The back yard is currently laid with Astroturf, making it maintenance free. The 8400 sf lot is set back from Balsam via a private driveway and access is via a wide, remote controlled entry gate. A privacy fence surrounding the property is illuminated with backlit LED lighting built into custom steel posts that complement the exposed structural V beams on the exterior of the house.
The quality of construction, engineering, high end finishes and energy efficiency is beyond impressive and cannot be overstated. The house is built on 17 peers into bedrock at 30 feet that then have a floating beam foundation spanning the peers. Concrete with rebar is tied into the peers at the main level foundation with 6 inches of high density foam on top of the concrete. This extra insulation is designed to maintain warmth for the wood floors on the ground level. All drainage from the roof is routed underground and around the house, coming out at an outlet in the front corner of the lot just behind the gate. The drainage engineering was based on measuring water flow at the peak of Boulder’s 2013 flood, prior to the home being built.
The exterior walls are comprised of 2 x 10 framing every 4 ft. with SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) walls and steel beams supporting key structural loads. The SIPs were seamed together with sealant that results in R42+ value. The standing seam metal roof has R50+ value. The Triple Pane Zola windows with a R11 value were custom made in Poland and shipped to the U.S. via container. They are extraordinarily beautiful and provide a large solar gain during the winter months. In addition to these thoughtful efforts to create a well insulated building, the geo-thermal heating and cooling system, with full house recirculation, results in incredibly low utility bills. And the icing on the cake, in terms of sustainable building principles: all the exterior stone was quarried in Colorado and hand cut in Grand Junction.
Only 7 blocks to the Pearl St Mall, this property is in a prime Boulder location. Nestled in a quiet residential neighborhood, a few blocks from North Boulder Park, the North Boulder Rec Center and the open space and trails of Sanitas, it is also steps away from coveted urban amenities. The North Boulder shopping area is a block away and hosts a wide variety of wonderful shops and restaurants, including Ideal Market, a full service market owned by Whole Foods, and Pharmaca, offering health, beauty and wellness products, along with a pharmacy and satellite US Postal Service office. This cool deco style shopping plaza also hosts popular local institutions like Boulder Wine Merchant, Breadworks, Vics Coffee, Sweet Cow Ice Cream, Pekoe Tea, Audrey Jane’s Pizza Garage and many others.
In terms of quality, style, location and views, there are very few properties that compare to 1327 Balsam. As for the unique configuration of having a one level living space floating amongst the trees, no other property compares. It is truly and stunningly, one of a kind.