Nestled within eighty-nine acres of Colorado ranch land and surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains, this home responds to its site with a sweeping, modern design. We sought to incorporate the landscape into the home, balancing the strength and permanence of the mountains with the elegance and serenity of the wild grasses blanketing the valley. Layered, linear volumes gradually break down the scale of the site, from the outdoors in.
The scale and grandeur of the landscape called for an elemental idea. The concept is a single mass, appearing to slowly erode away. The design presented several construction challenges. The roof is treated as an extension of the wall, rather than an additive horizontal plane. To achieve the continuous form, elaborate formwork was used to pour walls in place or cast them on the ground, before hoisting them into a steel frame.
The front courtyard is the first “room” of the house, leading into a two-story stair hall that frames the mountain views beyond. With each new transition, the space and views adjust to consistently bring the focus outside. Separations between the house and its landscape blur, as large expanses of structural glass windows alternate with accent walls. Stained wood soffits extend the interiors outside, creating spaces that invite movement between the house and its site. Bringing nature from the outdoors in, the home embodies the serenity, drama and beauty of its context.
The town of Aspen, Colorado is a leader in stringent energy codes, making sustainability an inherent component of this project. The home faces south towards the mountain, so solar heat gain was a major challenge. Overhangs and programmable motorized shades create a barrier from the sunlight and snow reflection in winter months, while spray foam insulation and an advanced mechanical system regulate the indoor temperature. Double- and triple-glazed, low-E coated windows serve as the main source of light for the home during daytime hours. A 48 KW PV array solar farm on the property helps to offset the energy load created by the pool and hot tub. Additionally, trees on the property were not only saved but new ones were also planted.