Launch Slideshow

Border House was named for its function as a transitional element between woodland and open meadow. Completed in 2003, it reflects themes common in Teagues work: forms inspired by the landscape and a certain assembled quality.

select projects from harry teague architects

select projects from harry teague architects

  • Harry Teague.

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    Harry Teague.

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    Peter McBride

    Harry Teague.

  • Cement Creek Residence occupies a site that offers both breathtaking views and extreme weather.

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    Cement Creek Residence occupies a site that offers both breathtaking views and extreme weather.

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    Wayne Thom

    Cement Creek Residence occupies a site that offers both breathtaking views and extreme weather.

  • An aluminum-framed corner window contrasts with siding of rusted currugated steel.

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    An aluminum-framed corner window contrasts with siding of rusted currugated steel.

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    Wayne Thom

    An aluminum-framed corner window contrasts with siding of rusted currugated steel.

  • Passive solar strategies help the building cope with winter temperatures that reach double digits below zero.

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    Passive solar strategies help the building cope with winter temperatures that reach double digits below zero.

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    Wayne Thom

    Passive solar strategies help the building cope with winter temperatures that reach double digits below zero.

  • Cement Creek Residence kitchen.

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    Cement Creek Residence kitchen.

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    Wayne Thom

    Cement Creek Residence kitchen.

  • Border House was named for its function as a transitional element between woodland and open meadow. Completed in 2003, it reflects themes common in Teagues work: forms inspired by the landscape and a certain assembled quality.

    http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmpFAA3%2Etmp_tcm48-619054.jpg

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    Border House was named for its function as a transitional element between woodland and open meadow. Completed in 2003, it reflects themes common in Teagues work: forms inspired by the landscape and a certain assembled quality.

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    Paul Warchol

    Border House was named for its function as a transitional element between woodland and open meadow. Completed in 2003, it reflects themes common in Teagues work: forms inspired by the landscape and a certain assembled quality.

  • Border House living area.

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    Border House living area.

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    Paul Warchol

    Border House living area.

  • Border House dining and living areas.

    http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmpFAA1%2Etmp_tcm48-619047.jpg

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    Border House dining and living areas.

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    Paul Warchol

    Border House dining and living areas.

  • Border House kitchen.

    http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmpFAA2%2Etmp_tcm48-619051.jpg

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    Border House kitchen.

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    Paul Warchol

    Border House kitchen.

  • Border House living area.

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    Border House living area.

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    Paul Warchol

    Border House living area.

  • Providing affordable housing in Aspen, Colo., Benedict Commons, completed in 1996, breaks up its massed units in street elevations that follow the pattern of the historic downtown.

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    Providing affordable housing in Aspen, Colo., Benedict Commons, completed in 1996, breaks up its massed units in street elevations that follow the pattern of the historic downtown.

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    Timothy Hursley

    Providing affordable housing in Aspen, Colo., Benedict Commons, completed in 1996, breaks up its massed units in street elevations that follow the pattern of the historic downtown.

  • Benedict Commons units open onto a common interior courtyard, connecting via on-grade paths and elevated walkways.

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    Benedict Commons units open onto a common interior courtyard, connecting via on-grade paths and elevated walkways.

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    Timothy Hursley

    Benedict Commons units open onto a common interior courtyard, connecting via on-grade paths and elevated walkways.

  • Benedict Commons courtyard.

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    Benedict Commons courtyard.

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    Timothy Hursley

    Benedict Commons courtyard.

  • Completed in 2000, the Burlingame affordable housing development comprises four housing clusters and a commons building.

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    Completed in 2000, the Burlingame affordable housing development comprises four housing clusters and a commons building.

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    Thorney Lieberman

    Completed in 2000, the Burlingame affordable housing development comprises four housing clusters and a commons building.

  • Prefabricating the units off-site reduced both costs and time under construction.

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    Prefabricating the units off-site reduced both costs and time under construction.

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    Thorney Lieberman

    Prefabricating the units off-site reduced both costs and time under construction.

  • All of the Burlingame development's units open onto a shared outdoor space.

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    All of the Burlingame development's units open onto a shared outdoor space.

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    Thorney Lieberman

    All of the Burlingame development's units open onto a shared outdoor space.

  • Teague traces his affinity for agricultural buildings to a barn residence his grandfather created in the 1930s.

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    Teague traces his affinity for agricultural buildings to a barn residence his grandfather created in the 1930s.

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    Robert Millman

    Teague traces his affinity for agricultural buildings to a barn residence his grandfather created in the 1930s.

  • In the Hacker Residence, completed in 1997, Teague  returned to the imagery of the barn, a motif in his work since his earliest projects.

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    In the Hacker Residence, completed in 1997, Teague returned to the imagery of the barn, a motif in his work since his earliest projects.

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    Robert Millman

    In the Hacker Residence, completed in 1997, Teague returned to the imagery of the barn, a motif in his work since his earliest projects.

  • Hacker Residence interior.

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    Hacker Residence interior.

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    Robert Millman

    Hacker Residence interior.

  • The home and studio for two artists, Shiny Metal House (1984) makes use of materials common in agricultural buildings and mobile homes.

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    The home and studio for two artists, Shiny Metal House (1984) makes use of materials common in agricultural buildings and mobile homes.

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    Timothy Hursley

    The home and studio for two artists, Shiny Metal House (1984) makes use of materials common in agricultural buildings and mobile homes.

  • Teague chose metal siding materials for the way their appearance changes along with lighting conditions.

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    Teague chose metal siding materials for the way their appearance changes along with lighting conditions.

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    Timothy Hursley

    Teague chose metal siding materials for the way their appearance changes along with lighting conditions.

  • Translucent fiberglass panels diffuse the often brilliant, focused mountain sunlight.

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    Translucent fiberglass panels diffuse the often brilliant, focused mountain sunlight.

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    Timothy Hursley

    Translucent fiberglass panels diffuse the often brilliant, focused mountain sunlight.

  • Harry Teague.

    Credit: Peter McBride/Aurora Select

    Harry Teague.
 

back to the ranch

In his houses, Teague applied what had become his customary tools: intensive client research, plans that foster interaction, and forms inspired by utilitarian structures. “The agricultural buildings that I admired were often sited in a very casual way that made you say, ‘Wow, that’s just perfect,’” he observes. Taking ranch and mining camp buildings as his raw material, “I would make them up out of a lot of parts,” sculpting dwellings into the landscape, both functionally and thematically. As a result, he notes, “They looked informal, and they looked natural.”

Teague put vernacular forms at the service of an aesthetic that, while playful, was more modernist than postmodernist. And his experience as a builder gave him the confidence to employ familiar materials in novel ways. “I could just look at them and see what they could do,” he explains. About the same time that Frank Gehry made chain link fence famous, Teague used corrugated aluminum as the siding and roofing of his Shiny Metal House, contrasting the industrial material with the building’s neo-Palladian symmetry. “It’s the first example I know of people using that as a glamorous material,” Teague says.

He followed up, perhaps inevitably, with Rusty Metal House, whose untreated steel roof and siding oxidized to the same plum brown as the iron-rich rock of the nearby peaks. To sell the idea, he took his clients for a champagne picnic at the remote abandoned sheep ranch that inspired it. They agreed, Teague reports, but with conditions. “I actually had to put up a $5,000 deposit and guarantee the roof for five years.”

“Some very fine architects tend to be gardeners,” observes architectural journalist Mildred Schmertz, FAIA, who first wrote about Teague’s work in the early 1980s. “He’s influenced by the wild places. That’s a very key element in his life. He’s a mountain man.” A mountain man whose flatlander origins may actually strengthen his work. “I look at everything with fresh eyes,” Teague explains. On the East Coast of his youth, “the landscape was relatively soft. In Colorado I was plunged into this place where no building is divorced from its backdrop. Mountains shoot up behind everything. Each project deals in one way or another with an issue that the huge landscape is presenting.” Teague sought to make his buildings part of the heroic mountain landscape without making them disappear into it. Shiny Metal House “was in the bottom of a valley,” he notes, “and it had to stand out to hold its own. Our building is 5 miles long, because it forms the end of this beautiful bowl-shaped valley that’s 5 miles long. You take advantage of the features to make the building stronger.”

lay of the land

But the human element figures equally in the equation. “He embraces his clients,” says Brad Zeigel, AIA, who worked with Teague from 1990 to 2000. “He gets them to ask themselves what living is all about.” With Teague, he adds, “You get more than a house.” Teague explains: “I get very interested in the social machinery of the entity I’m working for. What do they need to make this work? Is it privacy? Is it interaction? What do they want to discover on this land? Even if it’s been done thousands of times, we go back to the source with our clients. That’s key to our process.” And for newcomers to the mountains, Teague has wisdom to share. “Right now,” he tells them, “you’re just coming to this land. All you want to do is stare at it. In 20 years you’re going to have a whole different attitude about it.”

Teague’s commercial and public work—which includes an acclaimed performance hall at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge, Colo., and an ongoing series of projects at the Anderson Ranch—is equally strong, varied, and inventive. But houses remain a mainstay of his practice, and an important incubator of ideas. “Residential projects are the chamber music of our work,” Teague says. “You have the ability to experiment with this relationship with the landscape.”

This is where Teague takes his own family tradition into new territory. While neither his grandfather nor his father was an architect, he says, “Both of them did buildings—and pretty nifty ones, too.” But, he notes, “They were involved with the machine-age stuff. They were buildings that promoted an anthropocentric view.” For more than 40 years, Teague has applied his formidable skill and energy in service of a very different ideal: aligning the potential of human invention with the power of the landscape. “That’s still my theme,” he says. “You can’t beat these mountains.”


 

2010 leadership awards