Shadow Mountain House, Aspen, Colorado. Rowland+Broughton Architecture.
“A challenging lot size and the clients’ goal of capturing distinctive views of towering treetops and distant mountainsides drove the vertical architecture of this delightful family home, set at the edge of downtown Aspen. Within 4,672 square feet of space on three levels, the main living areas are placed on the upper level and rooftop, and the bedrooms on the lower levels. A “form follows function” party was created to incorporate large aperture-style picture windows aimed directly at primary views. Another opening provides expansive Shadow Mountain views and also provides for seamless indoor-outdoor entertainment opportunities in the privacy of the backyard.
Champagne colored standing seam metal siding was used as the building’s skin for its ability to be applied on both vertical and horizontal surfaces. Stucco was used on the exterior of the main level as a subdued, monolithic base that recedes from the expressive upper level. Ensuring that the views were the primary focal points from the interior of the home was a singular challenge. In a compressed footprint, essential programmatic elements vie for attention compositionally. Glass guardrails for interior stairways were chosen to allow for more natural light to filter uninhibited through the home and for the transparency they provided. Skylights were installed to draw light in from above. Another design challenge was the detailing required for the unique angles driven by the aperture windows. Rainscreen cladding techniques and internal gutters were employed so that the standing seam metal siding was used consistently around the openings.
Additional design decisions encouraged views as well. Driven by the clients’ love of bold colors, our design team focused on a lively, distinctive, analogous color pattern. Set against a background of neutral plaster, white oak, and minimal detailing, we designated purple for the lower level, blue for the main floor, and green for the upper level in order to pull the rich greens of the surrounding forested views inside. The clients’ collection of contemporary artwork was purposefully placed in areas that would add to the overall aesthetic of the room without distracting attention from the view.
As our focus turned to furnishings, comfort, color, and contrast all played a role. Encouraged by the clients’ “go for it” attitude, we mixed bespoke pieces, such as a Lais chandelier discovered at Salone del Mobile set over a custom live-edge wood dining table, with “off the shelf” items, such as lounge chairs from Flexform and side tables by Made Goods. The master bed headboard and soft goods were custom-designed, as were bunk beds in a guest room. The end result is a colorful, casual, comfortable home that more than exceeds the clients’ expectations and fits their lifestyle perfectly.
Photo credit: Brent Moss