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Case Study – Victorian Square

Celebrating the dynamic spirit of Aspen’s rich history, the featured lapped brick facade at the base of the building connects it to the neighboring historic brick buildings.


Set between Aspen’s downtown core and the contemporary, internationally renowned Aspen Art Museum, this iconic three-story 12,275 square foot mixed-use building is the dynamic spirit of Aspen’s rich history. Victorian Square was designed and inspired by the nearby snow-covered rock outcroppings known as the “Pillow Factory,” a favorite backcountry destination up nearby Independence Pass, where skiers float between pillows of snow.


R+B sought to abstract the inherent qualities of a typical pillow where the snow is softly suspended over the mass of the rock, revealing the stratified lines of past snowfalls. The second portion of the building is formed by a single, undulating African mahogany form that cantilevers over the edge of the brick façade above the pedestrian space. At the base, a lapped brick facade gives a nod to the neighboring historic brick buildings and grounds the structure to the site. Handmade bricks by Peterson Tegl, an innovative and craft-focused producer in Denmark, are detailed using a lapped siding technique with hidden fasteners, which recalls the many wood sided buildings that once were prevalent throughout downtown Aspen during the early mining years.


Overall, timeless architectural details respect the craftsmanship of the past, while sleek, fresh lines speak to modern technology and design. Unique detailing driven by new products and energy codes allowed the design and construction team to delve deeply into new technologies through traditional research methods, as well as full-scale mockups.


This ground-up project includes a basement, two stories of above grade commercial space, and a third-story 2,000 SF residential penthouse with panoramic views of Aspen and the surrounding mountains. The structure has quickly become a cornerstone of the community.