Sited on a steeply sloped plot on prestigious Red Mountain, the Aspen Residence in Aspen, Colo., is surrounded by panoramic vistas: To the west lie views of the town, to the south, swathes of as-yet undeveloped, heavily wooded landscape.
Designed by San Francisco-based Aidlin Darling Design, the house itself is designed to take best advantage of the site. It contrasts heavy concrete and stone with lighter wood and glass to modulate and frame the views, maximizing those of the landscape, and minimizing those of the neighboring houses and road to ensure privacy. A water roof on the lower level hides the other homes down the slope and reflects the mountainous landscape, amplifying this carefully crafted image of seclusion in nature.
Intended to be a year-round house, the site includes a conscientious energy strategy: high-efficiency insulation and radiant heating keep it warm in winter, while passive cooling and a heat recovery ventilation system helps modulate the temperature in the warmer summer. A bio-retention pond controls storm runoff, and a green roof reduces the heat island effect. The result is a thoughtfully detailed modernist retreat that proves that form and function can coexist. —Katie Gerfen