Mitchell Residence is a sensationally designed contemporary mountain home by Poss Architecture + Planning, located in rugged Aspen, Colorado. This distinctive home is nestled into a steep wooded site alongside the Little Nell ski run on Aspen Mountain. A central stair and circulation core connects seven different levels within the house at half intervals, four of which have ski-in access.
With cascading roof forms floating above a solid sandstone foundation, this contemporary home draws on historic references to provide a site specific and dynamic interpretation of traditional mining architecture.
We pride ourselves in designing homes that are products of understanding our clients’ lifestyle, aesthetic desires and their connection with the property they have selected. This approach has produced a body of work with diverse design concepts, each with the individual signature of the client and our underlying focus on quality of space and detail. The residential portfolio contains three sections of projects that demonstrate the different directions of our design capabilities for signature homes. The custom projects represent a timeless tradition; our modern homes show the creativity and attention to detail that can be expressed with clean lines, and the ranch style projects range from mountain rustic to heavy timber ranch vernacular.
The Syncline house was designed as a place of solitude for a professional couple by architecture studio Arch11, located near Boulder, Colorado. Situated at the fold between the Rocky Mountain foothills and the Great Plains, the house mediates horizons and peaks, city and alpine meadows. Conceived as a frame for viewing the landscape, Arch11 meticulously modeled the residence within the site to ensure that planes of glass capture ridgetop views while respecting the city’s height restrictions.
A Pre-Paleozoic fold creates a distinction between the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountain Foothills. Geologically referred to as a syncline, a crease caused by uplift of an ancient sea bed, the fold distinguishes the inhabited plains from mountain park space. The upward plane of the fold presents a landscape described and observed moving sectionally through the house.
The wedge shaped site was bound by numerous restrictive land use limitations: a wetland buffer, height restrictions, a solar access restriction, and multiple setback and easement boundary requirements. A three-dimensional computer model was developed describing the limits of the buildable envelope.
The project was conceived as a threshold between the city and the mountain park. The client, an entrepreneurial and professional rock climbing couple, requested the house to be “a place where town life can be left behind.” The house is a threshold between both the cultural and geologic creases: one between the domestic and the feral, the other between horizontal and vertical. Through a domestic grove of flowering trees, a solid wood wall, broken only by a perpendicular stone wall, opens to the house interior. Once inside, the stone wall becomes a thickened poche of mechanical and service elements leading through to the west wall of the house, a glazed wall framing the mountain parks.
The western wall phenomenally erodes, revealing the landscape with varying degrees of openness. At the entry, framed apertures provide controlled vignettes of the landscape from foreground meadow to high ground cliffs. As the entry opens to the living spaces the apertures transform in scale to reveal the expansive landscape in its entirety. At the southwest corner thirty feet of glass retracts into the walls, dissolving the boundary between the domestic and the wild; the living spaces are then bounded only by the uplifted cliffs beyond. Reciprocally, the native meadow to the west folds onto the garage roof providing easy outdoor access for visiting guests in the house’s guest suite.
A simple stair cantilevers from the stone wall. Climbing the stairs, the foreground, mid range, and ridge views are sequentially revealed. Experientially scissoring into the landscape and back into the house the stairs connect the mountain park with the house. The west wall of glazing extends the western room boundaries to the wall of rock and meadows beyond. The east wall remains closed, allowing only privileged, controlled views and light from the clerestory above.
Working within some of the strictest energy performance codes in the country, the house is designed to be self sustained utilizing a ground loop heat exchange system that taps into the very bedrock seen at the distant ridge. A ten kilovolt photo-voltaic electrical system powers pumps, compressors and the domestic electrical needs.
To support an envelope comprised of 50% glazing, a structural steel frame is used in place of traditional stick framing throughout the home. The western facade was challenged by height and wind exposure. The thickened wall is a steel brace frame that incorporates vertical vierendeel trusses to resist the 120 mile per hour winds coming down out of the mountains. Additionally, it accommodates the primary vertical mechanical chases.
Built with innovative renewable energy systems and materials crafted to last centuries, the house is a model of cutting-edge sustainable design and attains a LEED gold certification. Roof gardens allow the land to literally envelop the house, and expansive, retracting glass walls provide full views of the Flatirons to the west while connecting interiors with outdoor rooms. Executed with uncompromising detail, surfaces meet with quiet precision, creating a serene background for the landscape and mountains beyond.
Photos: Courtesy of Arch11
We just received images of this net zero home that was designed by HMH Architecture + Interiors in Boulder, Colorado, for two environmental attorneys. One of the attorneys works for the Environmental Protection Agency so maximum sustainability was the only option. However, the environment wasn’t the only design caveat. The owners—a small family with two dogs—also needed a showcase for their expansive art collection of two- and three-dimensional pieces, and requested casual living spaces to accommodate everyday living.
The house was designed in three zones: public, private and the garage. An entry that functions as an airlock separates the garage from the public zone defining the entry as well as help keeping pollutants from entering the main house.
After interviewing several firms in the area, the owners chose HMH Architecture + Interiors in Boulder, Colorado, a firm that specializes in art collection-driven home design, to create home that would be a work of art in its own right.
A seamless integration of the environment, art and family life, the home is a sculptural plan with long, uninterrupted walls throughout to accommodate and complement the art collection. Windows were carefully sized and located throughout to optimize daylight and art lighting while sheltering the works from direct sunlight.
A living room designed for living. This great room area includes the kitchen, dining area, an open office for homework and telecommuting, a living area for family interaction, and a covered porch for eating and playing outdoors.
To achieve an architectural balance between high-concept design and environmental efficiency, the home was built with sustainable materials throughout, including more cost-effective stucco and metal for the exterior.
“The main goal was to build a house that didn’t leave a carbon footprint,” says principal Harvey Hine, who conducted energy modeling prior to construction, which dictated that the house had to be built with fewer windows than originally intended.
The window design was a study of transparency and heat control optimizing the ideal amount of sunlight to keep the home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. With a 10kW solar intake system on the roof and a hot water solar system, the home produces 140% of its energy every year, and the homeowners sell the excess back to Xcel Energy.
No matter how sustainable or sculptural, a home ultimately has to be comfortable and livable, which was the top priority for this small family who wanted the home to serve as a social center for guests and entertaining. The great room includes a kitchen, dining area and an open office for family interaction as well as a covered porch for eating and enjoying the legendary Colorado weather.
An open office for homework and telecommuting. The result is an integration of the environment, living and art, customized for a specific family.
The house is bright, airy and acts as a backdrop for the art, the landscape, and daily family activity. The result of the integration of the environment, art, and daily family activity which has been customized for a specific family and location.
Photos: Courtesy of HMH Architecture + Interiors
The Sunshine Canyon Residence has been designed by THA Architecture, nestled at an elevation of 7,000 feet in the mountains just west of Boulder, Colorado. Completed in 2013, this home was a replacement to a home that the owners had lost the Fourmile Canyon fire of Labor Day weekend in 2010. They sold their property and purchased a larger parcel of eight acres for $150,000 on a higher perch, seven miles above downtown. The new structure was more modest in size to their previous home, coming in at 2,200 square feet and costing $1.2 million to build. The dwelling is set on tall steel columns and encased in corrugated, fire-resistant steel siding that is quickly taking on the patina of an old mining shack. “With passive house features, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and a solar array out back, the house is practically net zero in terms of energy consumption”, states THA Architecture.
The panoramic views are ever-changing and offer their own form of entertainment. Where others may have cleared away the expanse of burned trees, the couple saw beauty and left them standing.
Farr Residence is a mountain contemporary home designed by Studio 80 Interior Design with a warm, inviting and elegant appeal in Colorado.
This double volume foyer has been transformed into a cylinder of rustic contemporary appeal that boasts a textural story of mountain life complete with random flagstone flooring that suggests the natural stone of the mountain side itself; walls clad in rough wood boards held together with metal strapping as though the room was the inside of a wine barrel; exposed ceiling beams that wrap the round room and come together in the center to form a turret with square clerestory windows repeated around the walls above the strapping. A stunning light fixture that is suspended at the same level as the metal strapping and tells the tale of a wagon wheel referencing the strapping as the wheel itself; and finally a round faux pony skin covered bench with shoe shelving that is reminiscent of a coin operated bull ride. This foyer is a fantasy come true for anyone with an imagination and a taste for whimsy.
After entering the home and passing through the foyer, the social zone continues to impress. Exposed hand hewn post, beams and window surrounds are balanced with the weight of the stone wall and fireplace facing of 12×24″ patina’d steel sheets. A second light fixture identical to the one in the foyer hangs above the seating arrangement, which just happens to include a fun bamboo accent chair suspended from the ceiling by rope.
A walkway is created behind the sectional for ease of movement around the room and the walkway is kept wide enough to allow for a nostalgic vignette of gears and wheels to be mounted on the wall. The gears continue the theme of naturally aged materials and rustic appeal while at the same time adding in an industrial flavour that is further enhanced by the choice of floor lamp.
The bamboo on the swinging chair has been sprayed to match the finish of the aged steel, creating a tone on tone effect that is further emphasized by their opposing textures, the seat is then emphasized with the selection of colour pops employed within its pillows.
The kitchen boasts all the modern essentials, complete with a commercial grade stove and center island. The island picks up on the dining room angles by being narrower at its base then the counter and this is further emphasized by the bar over hang. The bar stools bring in a vintage flare while the faux skin rug on the floor has a country appeal.
Beside the kitchen is a small niche that supports a private dining space just for the family. The glass-topped table features a contemporary metal base that is repeated in the benches on either side for a picnic table reference while vintage chairs are tucked in at the ends for extra seating. In the distance a hall travels to the private zones of the residence.
The hall is a cozy transition that features a magazine rack mounted on the wall, a window niche complete with bench and industrial lighting suspended from the fantastic detailing within the ceiling beams.
Much like the living room, the dining room features exposed posts, beams and window surrounds, but here they are featured in a room of angular dimensions. Narrower at the floor line then the ceiling, it is as though the pitched ceiling is pushing the walls outward with the only thing holding it together being a metal rod crossing the center section of the room. This metal rod is part of another wheel reference; only this time the visual is within the support detail rather then in the two simple pendants that are suspended from it. Creating additional flare within the room is a vintage china bureau and a contemporary table that is paired with modern chairs, all three creating a purposely-neutral color story that allows the fuchsia area rug to be the soprano within the room.
The country rustic elements are strengthened within this bedroom via the large folksy print of tree branches on the bedspread, the cobalt blue bed frame and the “found” boards that create the headboard.
The kids bedroom continues the country rustic decor via the patchwork quilt and found board bed frame. The small desk, floor lamp and safety rail on the suspended bed bring in an industrial flavor while the Lucite chair reminds us that this is a contemporary home.
The bathroom is accessed via a pivoting wood door and when opened offers a view of a freestanding tub with a metallic finish for an industrial makeover on a country element.
The counter on the vanity continues the color story of the tub and the contemporary faucet and mirror supports reinforce the industrial aesthetic.
The details within the vanity vignette are subtle but exquisite. First there is the mirror that slides on metal rods hiding a medicine cabinet recessed into the wall. Then there is the faucet of hot and cold pipes meeting together to create a waterfall spout that spews forth into the rectangular sink, which is part of the solid surface counter. Just these three items create a feeling of luxury within a tiny footprint. Adding to this luxury is the heated towel rack reflected in the mirror.
In the bathroom, each coin nickle has been glued individually, then grouted and sealed. It’s a lot of work but well worth the effort!
The bench tucks quietly below a large window, creating the perfect place to enjoy reading one of the magazines featured on the rack next to it. Uncharacteristically finished in a powder coating of rose red, the bench and the area rug add in a layer of liveliness to an otherwise utilitarian space.
The shelving unit is a contained vignette of wooden cubes supported by square metal tubing with exposed welding on corner seams. The boxes are of varying sizes and while some feature a red stain on the interior sides others do not. The piece is a work of art and would be just as beautiful empty as it is filled with personal items.
Photos: Courtesy of Studio 80 Interior Design
Morning Star Residence is a luxurious modern mountain retreat designed by Slifer Designs in Mountain Star, Colorado. The home is nestled on top of a mountain offering fabulous views towards the surrounding mountaintops. The residence offers a cozy escape from the cold winters with warm fireplaces and plenty of seating areas to lounge and entertain friends and family. The interiors are decorated with plenty of textures and a wide variety of finishes and materials in a soft color palette so as not to detract from the beautiful landscape that pervades the home.
For over 28 years, Silfer Designs has been creating exquisite interiors where people love to live. We specialize in creating more inspired living spaces – by offering award-winning designers, timeless styles, upscale furnishings, and passionate creativity. Above all, we guarantee you’ll be thrilled with your Slifer Designs experience, and that you’ll enjoy the lasting comfort of livable luxury. Visit our store in Edwards, CO to find furnishings, accessories, and gifts for homes of distinction. And arrange a consultation with our legendary designers who can show you new possibilities for your living spaces, and walk you through our Slifer Designs experience of creative and comfortable on time, on budget interior design.
Photos: Stovall Studio
North Star Ranch explores a distinctive Mediterranean style design by Miller Architects in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Southern Colorado. The owner raises cutting horses, but has spent much of her free time traveling the world. She has brought art and artifacts from those journeys into her home, and they work in combination to establish an uncommon mood. The stone floor, stucco and plaster walls, troweled stucco exterior, and heavy beam and trussed ceilings welcome guests as they enter the home. Open spaces for socializing, both outdoor and in, are what those guests experience but to ensure the owner’s privacy, certain spaces such as the master suite and office can be essentially ‘locked off’ from the rest of the home. Even in the context of the region’s extraordinary rock formations, the North Star Ranch conveys a strong sense of personality.
The ranch offers a soothing color palette and takes advantage of the spectacular mountain range views throughout the home.
Photos: Courtesy of Miller Architects
This mountain contemporary residence is a private luxury home that is situated in Vail Valley, Colorado, designed by Points West Architecture in collaboration with Robyn Scott Interiors. The home is comprised of 10,000 square feet of living space with a 1,500 square foot guest house. This unique project was a perfect example of how a team consisting of the architect, designer and client collaborated to create optimal design. This 3 ½-year project reflects the elements required to create the clients’ vision: zen, organic, simple, and comfortable. The home offers sweeping views of a striking mountainscape in the distance, with plenty of property for outdoor activities for family and guests. The warm and welcoming interiors provides a perfect holiday escape and the perfect place to entertain.
This stunning home won awards for Best Bed/Bath: 2010 ASID Colorado Chapter and Best Contemporary Kitchen: 2010 ASID Colorado Chapter.
Photos: Teri Fotheringham Photography
Aspen Manor is a luxury mountain retreat designed by Charles Cunniffe Architects, situated on four acres at the base of Red Mountain in Aspen, Colorado’s posh Starwood neighborhood. At approximately 20,000 square feet, this stone-and-stucco Bavarian-style house utilizes as much glass as possible to encompass the views, all the while creating a warm, mountain escape for the owners. The Owner’s philanthropic engagements lead to programming to include spaces for sizable party tents, valet, catering, staff accommodations and lavish guests suites. The design includes 12 bedrooms, gourmet kitchen with butler’s pantry, an office, wine cellar and tasting room, gym, pilot’s quarters, pool and outdoor entertaining areas and a guest house.
The retreat is perched on a hill with a 70-mile panorama of snow-capped mountains. Outside a slate patio includes a pizza oven and entertainment area next to an Infinity swimming pool. A hot tub edged by large rocks is fed by a stream that runs under a wooden bridge.
The couple, pictured here, bought the property in 2006 for $20 million before embarking on a multi-million-dollar renovation. Mr. Powers, 53, was formerly a managing director and senior portfolio manager of Pacific Investment Management Co. (PIMCO). Mrs. Power’s grandparents owned the Mississippi Delta plantation Dockery Farms. She is a trustee of the farm, now a historical site, and also funds a program that provides music education to children in the South.
Aspen interior designer Linda Bedell says it went from “overdone, Los Angeles nouveau riche” to the look of “a grand European country house.”
In the “Grand Room,” a wide open living room with 50-foot-high wood beam ceilings, a Joan Miro tapestry hangs above a vast stone fireplace.
Ms. Powers’ office includes an Andy Warhol painting.
Inside, the views compete with a top-shelf contemporary art collection. It starts in the entry, shown here, where a large Roy Lichtenstein oil hangs on gray cashmere-covered walls.
Linear House is nestled on a private 22-acre site with spectacular views to the Elk Mountain Range in Aspen, Colorado. It was designed by Studio B Architects, providing both a cozy refuge from the cold and a stunning perch at an elevation of 9,500 feet from which to gaze at the surrounding peaks. With a confined building envelop set against the White River National Forest and within a dense aspen stand, the construction and staging area was quite limited. The Hong Kong-based clients requested that every tree possible be saved. A licensed Colorado geologist was required for county approvals, verifying historical avalanche chutes and established Aspen groves. This process required a year and was subject to controversial review.
With clients circling the globe and often in differing places themselves, communication, material/sample review and securing decisions proved very challenging. At an altitude near 10,000 feet, winters offered complexities in construction with shortened seasons and heavy snows. Our design solution embraced its natural setting, minimized site disturbance and reflects the clients demand for a calculated detailed architecture second to its remarkable setting.
The horizontal L-shaped plan appears to float above a partially buried stone plinth. The upper level plan contains the public areas and houses the meditation room, library and master suite. This solution offers views from all rooms and a rooftop terrace accessed from the inner courtyard has a viewing platform and sitting area. An exterior stair divides the lower level and accesses the rear courtyard underneath the upper plan. Materials consist of Japanese plaster, weathered teak siding, glass, and hand carved Yangtze River limestone.
Photos: Derek Skalko