Residential – Custom Home
8,507 SF (0.69 Acres)
REDstead is nestled high above Aspen within the coveted Red Mountain Ranch community that at one time was a working ranch. The sloping site overlooks a pristine pasture, which is the center piece of the ranch, and enjoys unobstructed views of Aspen Mountain and Independence Pass. The bucolic surroundings immediately influenced the design thinking to respect the sense of place rather than trying to define it. The Japanese principle of Wabi Sabi, roughly translated as ‘rustic simplicity’ and ‘perfectly imperfect’, also helped guide and define the spiritual nature of the project.
The primary design goal was to create a simple lifestyle where the main level provides one-story living. The central great room is the predominate volume and flanked on either side by secondary volumes, the master suite and junior master suite. These individual programs have their own gable volumes and are united by subservient linking volumes to suggest a rambling, homestead collection of buildings.
Another design goal was to capture unobstructed views of Aspen Mountain from the great room. Coordination with the surveyor and site mockups were meticulously studied to ensure the finish floor height was in concert with the 11’ tall sliding glass wall.
An indoor/outdoor experience was critical design objective. The house was situated so that it is unmistakably nestled and deeply rooted to the land. The native grasses from the pasture below were intentionally introduced into the property to honor and respect the context as if the house has always been there.
The steep site was the most significant challenge. The access point on to the property sits approximately 25’ above the desired auto court level. In addition, the existing driveway was not up to current county code, which required it to be wider and less steep. The other challenge that further complicated the grading was the desire for the great room to walk out on to natural grade and not be suspended in the air with a deck. This greatly impacted the house’s entry sequence. The design team approached entry sequence by setting the great room floor level 5’-6” below the auto court level, which open the opportunity to create a dynamic and experiential entry through a sunken rock garden. Rather than immediately stepping into the home from the auto court, guest now leave the car behind and journey down over large natural rock outcroppings and over a stone bridge leading to the front door.
Another challenge was the client’s request to be able to see Aspen Mountain ridge line unobstructed from the great room entry. The design team carefully studied the view angles to ensure when guests arrive over the entry bridge, they are greeted by the 42’ wide by 11’ tall glass door system that perfectly frames the mountain.
The sustainability efforts included a 16Kw photovoltaic array, continuous wrapped insulation, and advanced mechanical systems. Passive solar strategies were also used to create less dependency on mechanical controls. The exterior materials were carefully researched for their responsibility in reducing carbon footprint and were source locally, if not regionally. The design team further assessed materials based on their ability to minimize excessive maintenance servicing.
The most unique program of REDstead is the 1,500 SF wellness center. Although located in the lower level of the home, the gym is flooded with natural light from the adjacent stair and expansive window wall above. Moving past the gym the mood shifts to tranquility and rejuvenation as you enter the relaxation room with an adjoining massage room and full bath. The relaxation room also doubles as an ideal environment to stretch or practice yoga in the humidity provided from the hot and cold plunge tanks, sauna, and steam room.
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