High Drama in the High Country
Where this graceful home nestles into the steep mountainside on its ski-in/ski-out site near Aspen Mountain, gondolas are strung across the horizon like party lights, and magnificent views stretch from Hunter Creek to Independence Pass. But while the structure appears to hug the mountain effortlessly, its design was anything but effortless. “We always start with the site,” says Aspen architect Charles Cunniffe, who designed the house. “This site, in particular, was steep and challenging.” He met the challenge with a lyrical design that moves seamlessly among three levels and connects to the outdoors with floor-to-ceiling windows and 2,000 square feet of decks and patios.
“The intent was for the house to be sculptural in form—a kind of regional modernism,” explains Cunniffe. Elements of the Colorado vernacular are evident in the generous use of native stone, metal and wood, as well as exposed timber rafters and large overhangs that provide sun shading. “The modern elements are the overall forms—flat roofs yielding to curves on the exterior and creating open spaces inside,” Cunniffe says. “The curve adds a little elegance to what otherwise would be a flat roof.”
Interior designer Donna Guerra of Dallas-based DGA Interiors worked closely with the architect to select finishes that flow from exterior to interior. “We wanted to create a sense of cohesiveness with the natural materials,” Guerra says. She selected wide-plank walnut floors, custom-designed rosewood and walnut cabinetry, and hand-picked exquisite glass tiles, marble and stone surfaces. “The interior finishes are a little darker than the outside [finishes] and more dramatic, too,” she says. Drama also comes from the barrel-vaulted ceiling, walls of glass, and a spectacular meandering staircase that allows light and traffic to flow from upper to lower levels.
The 9,000-square-foot house is specifically zoned to feel comfortable whether occupied by one person or a crowd. “There is an interesting flow from the entertainment level to very private sleeping spaces,” Guerra says. “Every room has a different perspective.” The upper level comprises the living room, dining area, kitchen and master bedroom suite, providing single-floor living for the homeowners. The mid and lower levels house family bedrooms, an office/library, exercise room, media room, recreation space and guest bedrooms. “The design provides ease of movement for the owner, space to closely connect with family and a separate wing for guests,” Cunniffe says. “This house was designed for contemporary living—for a multi-generational family to enjoy the house together.”
Architects: Charles Cunniffe, Charles Cunniffe Architects, Aspen, (970) 925-5590, cunniffe.com
Builder: John Olson, John Olson Builder, Inc., Aspen, (970) 923-423, johnolsonbuilder.com
Interior Designer: Donna Guerra, DG&A Interiors, Dallas, TX, (214) 522-6716, dgainteriors.com
Furniture Designer: Aspen Elegance, Peoria, AZ, (949) 310-9445, aspenelegance.com
DEVELOPER LNR Property LLC, Denver, (303) 218-9500, lnrcpg.com STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Redwine Engineers, Avon, (970) 748-0711 ELECTRICAL ENGINEER R & A Enterprises, Glenwood Springs, (970) 945-6500 MECHANICAL ENGINEER Mountain Air Mechanical, Rifle, (970) 625-4352, mountainair.biz LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Alpine Design & Planning, Aspen, (970) 925-6585, alpinedesignandplanning.com LIGHTING CONSULTANT Robert Singer & Associates, Aspen, (970) 963-5692, robertsingerlighting.com MASONRY Grizzly Masonry, Glenwood Springs, (970) 618-6278 LIBRARY HANGING LIGHT Trestle Pendant Light Fixture, Hubbardton Forge, hubbardtonforge.com FIREPLACE SURROUND Repose Glass Mosaic Fireplace Surround, Waterworks, waterworks.com MASTER BATH Focus Sconce by Hemera, Meletio Lighting, Dallas, TX, (214) 352-3900, hemeralighting.com SINK Kohler, kohler.com FAUCET Water Décor, waterdecor.com CABINETRY Custom Walnut Cabinets, Genesis Innovations, LLC, Loveland, (970) 635-9315, genesis-innovations.com COUNTERTOP Nero Maquina Marble Slab Countertop, Ann Sacks, annsacks.com FLOORING Marble Floor Tile, Waterworks, waterworks.com KITCHEN CABINETRY & VENT HOOD Custom Rosewood Cabinets and Vent Hood, Genesis Innovations, LLC, Loveland, (970) 635-9315, genesis-innovations.com REFRIGERATOR/FREEZER, BAR REFRIGERATOR & WINE FRIDGE Sub-Zero, subzero-wolf.com DISHWASHER & BAR DISHWASHER Miele, miele.com BEVERAGE CENTER Perlick, bringperlickhome.com RANGE Dual Fuel Range, Wolf, subzero-wolf.com FAUCET KWC, kwcamerica.com CABINET HARDWARE Rocky Mountain Hardware, rockymountainhardware.com COUNTERTOP Granite Countertop (Metalica) Schist, Capco Tile & Stone, Carbondale, (970) 963-7320, capcotile.com DINING ROOM PENDANTS Helix Pendants, Troy Lighting, troy-lighting.com FLOORING Walnut Hardwood Floors, Brenda Pringle Specialty Products, Aspen, (970) 925-9244, brendapringle.combrendapringle.com CEILING Hemlock, Brenda Pringle Specialty Products, Aspen, (970) 925-9244, MASTER BEDROOM WOOL CARPET Truett, Dallas, TX, (214) 748-7550 WALLS Custom plaster walls HEARTH White Horse Stone Hearth, Pine’s Stone Company, Inc, Carbondale, (970) 945-2940, pinestoneco.com GAME ROOM CARPET Truett, Dallas, TX, (214) 748-7550