Tasked with refurbishing a dilapidated 1970’s ranch home with a new, modern aesthetic to enhance its original design, we overhauled the exterior in blackened cedar cladding blackened to let the home disappear amongst the site’s expansive meadow.

Project name: Wandertree Residence
Firm name: A21
Firm Location: Denver, Colorado
Project Location: Boulder, Colorado
Completion Year: 2021
Website: www.a21.design

Other participants:
General Contractor: Buildwell
Structural Engineer: On Site Structural

Photo credits: JC Buck, Kylie Fitts

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©JC Buck, Kylie Fitts

Keeping the architecture as quiet as possible, cues were taken from the home’s existing forms to inform the additions to make the newly renovated home seamlessly integrate with the existing structure and appear as though it was always there.

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©JC Buck, Kylie Fitts

Other updates included a full interior gut and reconfiguration of the floor plan to create a more open living experience. By inserting a large window wall on the western facade, we opened the home’s interior spaces to sweeping views west to the Boulder flatirons and continental divide.

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©JC Buck, Kylie Fitts

A new, larger kitchen features a large wooden slat wall which provides a textural element, hiding a pantry and refrigerator behind integrated hidden doors while a wall of glass above the countertops provides expansive mountain views. A large island and Scandinavian dining table serve as focal points to the open kitchen, living and dining room spaces and the family’s daily activities.

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©JC Buck, Kylie Fitts

The addition of a new 175 sf ensuite bathroom and closet to the primary bedroom provides the owners a luxurious spa hotel experience to enjoy within their own home. A simple, yet cohesive material palette guides the interiors with white walls to serve as a backdrop for the client’s art collection while wood ceilings and floors add warmth to the space.


A21 is a Denver, Colorado based architecture + design firm focused on a rigorous crafting of quietly designed buildings and spaces. Their immersive design process seeks the creation of a deep and meaningful relationship between living spaces and their surroundings – with a pursuit to present architecture, art and nature as a seamlessly integrated experience.

A21 holds a passionate belief in reductive design strategies which evoke a physical and emotional presence of spatial purity, eschewing unnecessary form and ornamentation. The firm strives for refined, yet modestly simple designs through a balance of artistry and comfort with emphasis on light, materiality, texture and a committed sensitivity to site and landscape. A21 unapologetically chooses subtlety and restraint over trend-driven opulence.

The designs of A21 are rooted in and meant to resonate with a specific place, the world around it, and the individuals who inhabit them. When beginning a project, their first steps are to understand the primary design drivers of the project context. Understanding the qualities that help define “place” can inform how a building is sited, shaped and may change over time. A21 strives to craft design solutions that respond to the site, allowing the building to thoughtfully assimilate within its context. Their process aims to identify the site’s potentials and design a response that celebrates the transitions between the indoor spaces and the world outside, forming a deep with connection between landscape, architecture and interiors.

After thoroughly exploring site and pre-design opportunities, A21 approaches the design process with an intent to achieve a clarity of place and space through restraint. Multiple iterations are undertaken until they have achieved a clear design and spatial arrangement which have been reduced to the essentials. The spatial concept is then taken and designed from the inside-out, striking a balance between the interior spaces and exterior building expression. One of the firm’s favorite parts of this process is developing subtle or unexpected discoveries through the craft and detailing of the spatial experience, materiality, and use of natural light. Through the intentional selection of warm and inviting materials in dialogue with their surrounding landscape, there is an aim to strike a balance between simplicity and comfort. By responding to the site via sensory experiences – light, shadows, sounds, smells, breezes, etc., there is opportunity to create immersive architectural experiences and emotional responses that influence the way clients live and improve the quality of the built environment.

A21 approaches every project with a sensitive eye and measured, yet empathetic approach to each client and their project site. The firm spends time gaining a deep understanding of how the client will interact with the site and occupy individual spaces, in addition to how the building will exist within the site. Their projects aim to curate and showcase each client’s individualism, responding to their desire to either retreat from or embrace their landscape or neighborhood while utilizing materiality, furnishings, art and décor to help communicate who they are and how they connect with their surroundings. A21 is enthusiastic about working with their clients and collaborators to take the initial design ideas through a process of distilling, refining and crafting of their dreams into a realized space, resulting in immersive architectural experiences.

Founder and Creative Director Joey Pruett is a fully licensed architect with experience working on multiple AIA award winning projects in Colorado. Joey holds Masters degrees in both Architecture and Urban Design in addition to a Bachelors degree in Urban Planning & Design. This background and experience has provided the ability to synthesize ideas from the larger site contexts down to the smallest construction details – with the consideration of how each relates to one another being pivotal to the firm’s design ethos of building interrelated experiences of architecture, art and nature.


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