Architecture as art on display at Summit County Commons |

Architecture as art on display at Summit County Commons

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Art surrounds you at every corner, but you may not notice it. Instead, you might define what you see as “a house.” But once you see the models, drawings, blueprints and photos four local architects are showing as part of the Summit County Arts Exhibit Committee’s (SCAEC) latest installation at the County Commons, you may think twice about homes.

“Architecture, to me, is a sculpture; it’s built art,” said Suzanne Allen-Guerra, SCAEC board member and president of Allen-Guerra Design Build.

Allen-Guerra organized the show, which highlights “green” building, as well as modern and historic homes.

Architect Matthew Stais has been planning his environmentally friendly home for about four years, and he’s halfway through construction now.

“It’s been kind of a long road,” Stais said. “I’ve been pushing the envelop on sustainable design and using my own house as a laboratory for my ideas.”

In designing his home, he wanted to use the sun as much as possible to offset heat and lighting needs, so he employed passive and active solar technology.

Sunday, he plans to talk about the various energy efficient techniques and cutting-edge materials available, “some techy and some more on the cool design side,” he said. His information will apply to both new and existing homes.

Freddie Valdez, of Valdez Architects in Frisco, will hang models of two environmentally friendly homes – one high-end and one on the lower end of the cost-per-square-foot scale. The high-end project is also a great example of modern design in the mountains, complete with flat roofs atop a steel structure.

“I don’t think there’s anything like this in the county,” Valdez said.

Darrick Wade, of Bostad International, will present his Galena Street project, which he assembled from steel shipping containers measuring 8-feet wide, 8.5- to 9.5-feet high and 24- to 40-feet long. The Town of Frisco hired him to design employee housing using as many recycled products as possible.

“How to make a shipping container livable was a fun challenge,” Wade said. But he went further in his “green” building designs. He asserts that site constraints and town regulations can be viewed as unique opportunities to think outside of the box.

“Regulations may feel limiting, but sometimes those things give us real neat opportunities,” he said.

Architect Janet Sutterley will showcase a number of her projects in Breckenridge’s historic district. Through blueprints and models, she will portray how new construction complements historic buildings, whether it’s an addition to an old cabin or an entire new home built in an established block. She’ll also feature one of the oldest historic structures in Breckenridge, located on Lincoln and Harris.

The architects will be present at 3 p.m. Sunday to discuss their work and perhaps inspire new perspectives.

“Art, to me, is something that makes you stop and think and stop and smile,” Allen-Guerra said, “and I think architecture should do the same thing.”

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