Aspen design is often described as a synergy between old and new, which was this projects driving design goal. The leading example of this was how the design of the new building used an abstraction of a traditional cross-gable form represented by numerous historic buildings across the street. Furthermore, the new building’s fenestration along Main Street is subdued while the rear façade is modern and expansive to draw the courtyard inside. Another design goal was positioning the new building so that it elegantly defines the courtyard and celebrates an existing heritage spruce tree. The historic and new buildings buffer the Main Street traffic and activate the south-facing courtyard with alfresco dining and gathering. Large sliding glass window walls further amplify and invite the courtyard energy inside. Lastly, other design objectives focused on expressive details to create a unique pedestrian experience. The historic building parapets were reimagined the linking elements to create circulation cues for flow in and out of the building. Also, a pedestrian corridor between the two buildings creates an experience where the new building’s diamond pattern metal roof turns down to become its west wall and complement the historic building’s rough stucco textured walls.
The biggest challenge the design team faced was how to save the existing heritage spruce tree by staying out of the tree’s drip line. The team analyze numerous footprints for the new building to balance maximum operation opportunities, as well as achieving optimal courtyard seating configurations.