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R+B’s New Aspen Studio in Historic Mesa Store Features Highly Customized, Sustainable Interior Space

ASPEN, COAugust 7, 2019 — Rowland+Broughton Architecture / Urban Design / Interior Design’s new Aspen studio and firm headquarters in the restored historic Mesa Store Building features a customized, ergonomic interior program.


“The driving concept was to create highly collaborative work and circulation spaces surrounded by individual work zones at the perimeter, and with flexible meetings spaces throughout,” notes R+B Principal John Rowland, AIA, about the space. “Looking to the future, we are secure in establishing a meaningful location where our team may flourish as our national body of work continues to expand.”


The sustainably designed tri-level interior is modern and bright, featuring white-painted walls, white oak millwork and character grade oak flooring accented with black hardware and guardrails. Height adjustable by Uplift desktops and built-ins were custom designed to maximize comfort and efficiency. Ceilings are white acoustic fabric by WhisperSpan.


In addition, the entry is surrounded by an enormous historic glass storefront that once saw uses as a bakery, general store and retail. This historical reference inspired the design team to respectfully place a welcome desk and open kitchen area that encourages the spirit of the hospitality of the past. For more photos, visit


Building Restoration and Preservation Efforts


The existing, historic structure required extensive restoration and preservation efforts. In collaboration with Aspen-based Schlumberger Scherer Construction, efforts included removing all non-historic proportioned windows and replacing them with replicas as researched in historic photos. The non-historic, covered entry roof fascia was removed and the historic detailing that had been covered up was restored and preserved. The non-historic exterior covered stair and deck was restored per the historic photos.


Additionally, all new plumbing, electrical, data, security, and fire protection prepared the property for the next century, further preserving Aspen’s authenticity and historical heritage. Accessibility was enhanced by adding an elevator that connects all three levels, as well as accessible parking and entry. New landscaping and gardens complement the historic patterns of Main Street, while providing a modern aesthetic and accommodating storm water infrastructure.


Upon completion, the project received an 2019 Historic Preservation Award from the Aspen Historic Preservation Commission.


About the Historic Mesa Store Building


Designated and registered with the City of Aspen Historic Preservation Commission, the 1888 Mesa Store has long enjoyed a distinct vantage point at the top of Aspen’s Main Street, the mesa. The street dips down into the commercial core, leaving the building prominent on the site. Originally used as a general store, and then a bakery, with a shopkeeper residence above, the significant features of the lap-wood-sided structure include a two-story, false-front façade with large storefront windows at street level, double-hung windows along the upper floor, and a hidden gable roof beyond. The signature, covered front was originally designed to protect a typical Old West boardwalk.