Liv­ing be­neath the Colorado Peaks: The Story of Knapp Ranch: A Vi­sion of Ar­chi­tec­tural De­sign and Land Stew­ard­ship

Betsy Knapp, Bud Knapp Sarah Chase Shaw (Ed­i­tor) Todd Winslow Pierce (Pho­tog­ra­pher)

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews Adult Nonfiction -

The Knapp Press (SEPTEM­BER) Hard­cover $70 (288pp), 978-1-4236-5096-6

Ex­plore a one-of-a-kind moun­tain re­treat in the wilder­ness of the Vail Val­ley through the lush im­ages and thought­ful, thor­ough writ­ing of Liv­ing be­neath the Colorado Peaks.

Betsy and Bud Knapp, the for­mer pub­lish­ers of Ar­chi­tec­tural Digest, fell in love with the Vail Val­ley in 1990. When build­ing their home there, they fo­cused on green con­struc­tion and sus­tain­able meth­ods. A place for gath­er­ings, con­ser­va­tion, eco­log­i­cal and botan­i­cal re­search, and or­ganic farm­ing, their ranch seeks to leave the land in bet­ter shape than they found it.

The book’s pho­to­graphs, taken by Todd Winslow Pierce, cap­ture moun­tain­ous land and the crea­tures that live in it; they are ex­quis­ite.

The land­scape and wildlife are the first fo­cus; then the lodge and its cab­ins re­ceive at­ten­tion. Each build­ing is stylis­ti­cally unique; each has its own imag­ined back­story. Ad­di­tional archival photos are a nod to the history of white set­tlers com­ing to Ute In­dian ter­ri­tory in the late nine­teenth cen­tury. De­signs by the ar­chi­tect, in­te­rior de­signer, and land­scape ar­chi­tect for Knapp Ranch, all con­sid­er­ing the rus­tic style of na­tional parks build­ings, round out the book’s im­agery.

The text in­cludes per­spec­tives from those in­volved in the con­struc­tion of the ranch and in its op­er­a­tions. It is in­ter­est­ing as it re­lates the par­tic­u­lar chal­lenges of build­ing, from is­sues of wa­ter rights to the sea­sonal changes im­plicit in liv­ing at an al­ti­tude of nine thou­sand feet. Every­thing on the Knapp ranch was de­signed to honor or re­store the site’s wild­ness while cre­at­ing the il­lu­sion that the homes had been there all along.

Liv­ing be­neath the Colorado Peaks is an in­spi­ra­tional project fo­cused on con­ser­va­tion and rus­tic ar­chi­tec­ture, well worth imi­tat­ing or liv­ing vi­car­i­ously through. MERED­ITH GRAHL COUNTS

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