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Noted Boulder architect, Hobie Wagener, was commissioned in 1954 to design a home for up-and-coming photographer, Syl Labrot. The home was a prime example of the mid-century modern design of the time. It incorporated the following design elements:


  • Post and beam construction that was exposed on both the interior and exterior

  • Extensive amount of glass to bring the outside landscape into the home

  • Expressive structural form with a sweeping butterfly roof

  • Materials of the time were utilized including long narrow Norman brick, cork flooring, and tongue & groove wood ceilings.


By 2007, the home had fallen into disrepair and mold existed in much of the flooring, walls, and ductwork. Although many neighbors wanted it bulldozed, the City of Boulder landmarked the structure in the Fall of 2008.


During the process of landmarking, Belz began a renovation and addition. The aim was to revitalize the existing structure, revise the function and flow of spaces by incorporating an addition, and re-equip with green building and energy-saving systems.


The renovation aspect included the following elements:

  • Interior of the original house was gutted to exterior brick walls and exposed wood beams/tongue & groove ceiling.

  • Original single-paned glass replaced with insulated units. New trim size and reveals match original.

  • Rigid insulation installed on top of roof with new EPDM surface.

  • Re-designed floor plan layout so that the original structure housed a master suite, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, and laundry.


The addition included the following elements:

  • Added a new structure that included a 4th bedroom, powder room, living room, dining room, kitchen, media room, and garage

  • The new structure echoed the existing structure in form (butterfly roof) but differentiates itself with materials (exposed steel post and beam structure)

  • Custom-match original brick in color and size

  • The addition compliments/blends with, but does not overwhelm, the original structure


Green building/energy saving systems included the following elements:

  • Passive solar design of addition

  • Use of natural daylighting throughout cuts down on lighting usage during the day

  • Blown in insulation attaining R21 in walls/R42 in ceiling

  • 4 kw photovoltaic system

  • 95% efficient boiler for radiant heat/domestic hot water

  • 2 High-efficiency zoned AC units

  • Low-no VOC finishes/material throughout

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