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Modern Masterpiece




When Kent and Vicki Logan were married on Vail Mountain in 1985 they had no idea that they would one day return to build not only their dream home but a legacy as well. Twenty years later their contemporary residence and private gallery provide a stunning setting for 900-plus works of art, which make up the couple’s impressive collection. The Logans have already promised to share much of it with the rest of the art-loving world. Their most recent pledge to the Denver Art Museum (DAM) includes a considerable number of paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings and installations, which will bring the total to 550 gifted works.

It is not as if the Logans expected things to unfold this way. Kent, in fact, admits that his love affair with Vail started like so many others—with the ski slopes back in the ’70s. After he and Vicki were married they were week-at-a-time visitors, but it wasn’t until the late ’90s when Kent was winding down his career as an investment banker in San Francisco that they started thinking seriously about building a place in Vail. From there, it was full speed ahead. The house was completed in 1997 and the Logans moved there full time in 2000. “The plan was to build a retreat that would someday become our permanent home,” says Vicki. “We just didn’t know that ‘someday’ would come so soon.”

Although the couple did not begin to collect until 1994, they realized that their artwork was multiplying at a rapid pace. As a result, the challenge in their new home was to incorporate windows that would take full advantage of the scenery and, at the same time, have enough wall space for the collection. Enter the professionals—builder R.A. Nelson & Associates and Segerberg Mayhew Architects. For a project of such scope (the four-story house sits on a very steep site), the collaboration was “wonderful,” says R.A. “Chupa” Nelson. “Joe Lukach of Denver office was a wonderful facilitator, and the team as a whole was very successful. What made it easy was that the Logans made good decisions and didn’t revisit them.”

The fact that the Logans are so well versed in art—and the art of display—made that possible. Vicki, for instance, wanted a 12-foot opening that would allow her to bring in large paintings, says Kurt Segerberg. As a result, the front doors are 4-by-8 feet; the ceiling height was also planned for large-scale pieces.

Low maintenance was high on Vicki’s priority list as well. Because the Logans are such devoted collectors, works are constantly changed and rearranged, requiring that the walls be re-painted each time. As such, there are no moldings that would impede the process. “That is important,” she points out.

But the couple’s wants and needs were not entirely about art. The guest rooms of this 7,500-square-foot residence, for example, are all on the lower level while the Logans live primarily on the main floor. “That was purely by design,” says Vicki. “We don’t feel so much as if we are rattling around in this big house.”

Even the Logans’ “extended family” was factored in. They worked with Palm Springs-based designer Monty Collins to create interiors that are just as modern as the couple’s taste in art (their contemporary collection includes works by such legendary artists as Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Franz Ackermann, Katharina Fritsch, Takashi Murakami and Damien Hirst). Vicki also considered their two Springer spaniels. “That came into play during the fabric selection process,” she says. “Let’s face it: They sit on the furniture.”

In 2001, Kent and Vicki reassembled the same team to build a private gallery next door. “We owned the property next to us, and decided that if we wanted to see the rest of our collection [on display] in our lifetime we had to build a space for it,” says Kent. “We wanted the design of the gallery to be compatible with the architecture of the house. Segerberg was very adept at that. They look as though they were built at the same time.” Because both properties were zoned for residential use, the gallery had to have certain “residential aspects.” A kitchen, bedroom and bath were required, but Segerberg explains that worked out just fine. “The kitchen is sometimes used for catered events and the bedroom serves as Kent’s office.” Kent is quick to point out, though, that they were never anything but upfront about how the building would be used. Good thing; he now holds a seat on the Vail Town Council.

That is not to say that the 6,500-square-foot gallery doesn’t have distinctive differences. For his part, the builder had to fit a lot of “behind the scenes” materials—from climate control to radiant floor heat and an incredibly complex lighting plan—into the floors and walls. Due to the sheer size of many artworks, ingenuity came into play in other ways. To facilitate bringing large pieces into the gallery the architects designed a system by which artworks can be raised up through the floors. “A straight truck can deliver the art, then it is staged in the garage and winched up through the floor,” says Segerberg. Through it all, Nelson and Segerberg had the help of seasoned gallery architect John Vinci.

“What started out as a typical house project grew into something even more interesting when we were asked to do the gallery,” says Segerberg. And in light of what is happening at the Denver Art Museum—the new Frederick C. Hamilton Building, which prompted the Logans to bequeath their collection to the museum in the first place, is about to open—“it is even more exciting to have been associated with it.”

Works from the Logans’ private collection will be on display October 7 when the Denver Art Museum’s Frederick C. Hamilton Building opens to the public. For more information, visit denverartmuseum.org.

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