Aspen, Colo., is a city of contradictions. While visitors may come for the top-notch ski slopes, they stay for the ultra luxe accommodations. And while the city’s roots are firmly planted in its mining town heritage, today its streets are lined with some of the finest shopping west of the Mississippi. Put all that together, and Aspen has a unique upscale-outdoorsy flavor all its own.
But if the city’s charm is unmistakable, it also sets a high bar for architectural design. To keep time with the local character, homes must hark back to the area’s mountain-lodge roots while staying on par with the modern luxuries to which residents are accustomed.
In an artful combination of styles, this resort home strikes just the right balance by employing a series of exposed wood scissor trusses. The clear-grain Douglas fir beams lend heft for a cabinlike feel, while exposed steel gussets, brackets, and knife plates add updated, contemporary elements.
“Wood and steel are traditionally used separately,” says architect Charles Cunniffe. “We wanted to be expressive,” while still maintaining the community’s character.
The high, open ceilings also offer an airy feel and help to prevent the dark interiors that often haunt traditional cabin designs by allowing for larger expanses of walls to be dedicated to panoramic windows.
“Being open with [the ceilings] allowed us to open up to the views beyond,” Cunniffe says. And beyond that, he adds, “it’s just comfortable.”