Shadow Mountain House


Project Summary

Shadow Mountain House

Aspen, Colorado

Residential – Custom Home


Aspen, Colorado


4,672 sf plus 622 sf deck

Interior Design


Shadow Mountain House is located in the downtown core of Aspen, Colorado. While it is within close walking distance to skiing, shops and restaurants, it is also at the city’s edge on a compact lot at the end of an alley. The home is tucked up against the base of Shadow Mountain, which provides unique forested views. The owners wanted to capture additional views of the treetops above, and expansive views of the mountain across the valley.


Our primary design goal was to capture the best views possible for the owners to enjoy lounging with their family or entertaining. This goal, combined with a compact lot size, drove the architecture vertically, with main living spaces on the upper level and roof, and the bedrooms on the lower levels. As the form is tucked into the mountain side, the upper level offers a gracious walk-out terrace to entertain outdoors. A “form follows function” parti was created to incorporate large picture windows aimed directly at each opportunity for the best view. These picture windows drove ceiling slopes and the treatment of other focal features, such as keeping the fireplace volume low so the treetops through the skylight can be seen from the living room. Another opening provides expansive Shadow Mountain views as well as the opportunity to provide seamless indoor-outdoor entertainment opportunities in the privacy of the back yard.


Our second design goal was to unify the angular form emphasizing predominant views as a singular volume. Standing seam metal siding was used as the building’s skin for its ability to be applied on both vertical and horizontal surfaces. The building skin was pulled and stretched around each picture window, creating apertures, which provide strong emphasis around each of these openings. Stucco was used on the exterior of the main level as a subdued, monolithic base that recedes from the expressive, upper level.


One of the design challenges was ensuring that the views were the primary focal points from the interior of the home. In a compact footprint, essential programmatic elements vie for attention compositionally.  A neutral palette of plaster, white oak and minimal detailing was used to not divert attention from the views. Glass guardrails on the stairs were chosen to allow for more natural light to filter uninhibited to the lower levels and for their transparency. Another design challenge was the detailing required for the unique angles driven by the apertures. Rainscreen cladding techniques and internal gutters were employed at apertures to use the standing seam metal siding consistently around the openings.


The furnishings palette was used to explore the owner’s love of embracing bold colors in their home.  Each level was provided a central color on which an analogous color palette was developed. The lower level is purple, main floor is blue and the upper level is green. Green was chosen for the upper level to pull the rich greens of the surrounding forested views inside. The artwork is bold and expressive, and provided with locations within the residence that allow them to be celebrated independently of the views.

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