The Clam House

Mountain Life
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Mountain Life
The Clam House 0901

Mt. Crested Butte, Colo.

Locals refer to this four-bedroom, two- and two half-bathroom home as the "clam house" for its yawning shell-like shape. Renowned Oregon architect Robert Harvey Oshatz, who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright Jr., designed the 4,815-square-foot home and two brothers constructed it as a spec house in 1985.

The ski-in/ski-out clam house is built over a concrete and steel foundation that rises from the steep slope to cantilever the home (and its 1,000-square-foot wraparound deck) out over the mountainside. Its large deck overlooks the half acre of property, which is rich with aspen trees-and in the summer with wildflowers.

Its semi-circular, tongue-in-groove, redwood and copper shell is centered around a river-rock pedestal, which opens as a fireplace on each of the home's three levels. Flowing redwood ceilings throughout the home and a cedar shingle roof are a couple of unique features.

A split-level design, the master suite and guest suite reside half a flight up from the entryway, and the kitchen and the common areas are half a flight down. The playroom and bunkrooms are hidden in the basement level to keep noise levels contained. Between the two master suites, a balcony makes a great sitting area and overlooks the common area below.

One thing you can count on if you decide to purchase the clam house is that your house will look nothing like your neighbors'-and probably unlike any design you'll ever see.

PROS
The open design allows for sweeping views of the West Elk Mountains. The seller is motivated; buyers make an offer.

CONS
Because of curved exterior walls, the outer rooms become a potential challenge to furnish. Not an easy resale.

DETAILS
Location Slopeside on Mt. Crested Butte; 1 mile from the base of the mountain and 3 miles from the town of Crested Butte.
Price $2.25 million
Time on Market 1 year
Listing Broker Mickey Cooper, Slate River Real Estate; 970-349-9505; srre@rmi.net; www.slateriver.com.