Architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and SheltonMindel & Associates have collaborated to design this Aspen residence. The Independence Pass Residence is sited at the edge of a nature preserve in Aspen, Colorado with views of an alpine meadow, forests of evergreen and aspen trees, the Roaring Fork river and the Rocky Mountains.
Approached from the north, a driveway leads from the main road to a private parking court, sheltered from wind and weather. The house stretches between two existing hills on the site; forming a threshold to the views of the meandering river and nature preserve beyond. The lower level is expressed as a series of stone clad walls that extend into the landscape and the upper level is a sleek box with a metal roof that floats on slender columns.
A wall of black-stained cedar boards marks the main entry and extends through the house into a double-height space with a floating stair. Cantilevered wood stair treads lead to the upper level and main living pavilion where full-height walls of glass reveal panoramic views of the nature preserve and New York peak.
The living room, dining room and kitchen occupy the center of the linear floor plan, with a master bedroom suite to the west and a family room and outdoor courtyard to the east. A fireplace clad in Vals quartzite forms the western edge of the living room with a large skylight above. A reading alcove with a bench of wood slats is lined with Douglas fir panels and stainless steel shelves for display of the owner’s photography collection. Sliding panels of glass open to an outdoor deck, further blurring the boundary between interior and exterior.
A second stair connecting all levels of the house is crafted of a one inch thick steel plate that is both structure and guardrail, slicing through the vertical space. Ground level spaces include three bedrooms with individual baths, a guest suite, mudroom and exercise room.