IMAGINE LEAVING THE chaos of Hong Kong, flying 19-plus hours across multiple time zones and arriving at your doorstep amid the silence and serenity of Aspen. That’s exactly what one couple with three young children do as often as they can to reach their private home in the upper reaches of Starwood. “It’s a respite for them,” says Aspen architect Al Beyer of Al Beyer Design (410 N. Mill St.), who, together with Della + Zella Interiors’ (410 N. Mill St.) Maggi Whitmer Thompson and Carrie Wolfer, designed and oversaw the building of the home. “Three or four times a year, they come here for a month or so to decompress. Sometimes they don’t want to go home.”
No wonder, considering that every element of the home was meticulously planned to suit the family’s sensibilities, lifestyle and needs. The siting, for instance, was organized to respect the privacy of both the owners and the neighboring homes, its profile kept low and long so as to appear to wander along the landscape. Earthwork around the perimeter was “graded up” to further the sense of privacy, as well as to provide a buffer from any sights or sounds that might escape from the Aspen airport across the valley. Materials, including sustainable cedar plank and stucco siding, combined with simple aluminum-frame windows and protective overhangs, emphasize the clean lines of its design.
Connectivity with the outdoors doesn’t stop at the threshold. In fact, from the outside, the oversize glass-paned front door allows views straight through the house to the Buttermilk and Snowmass ski slopes and mountainscapes beyond. Inside, the concept continues with floor-to-ceiling walls of glass framing views in every direction.
All that glass left little room for artwork, but gave the designers a 5,000-square-foot canvas to fill as they saw fit. “Our feeling was that the view and the site were the art,” says Thompson. “We let that stand out on its own and complemented it in the simple, elegant, minimalist modern style the owners desired, with quiet finishes and special, beautiful furniture pieces.”
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