honoring the rocky mountains through architecture
Located amongst the postcard landscape just outside of Aspen, Colorado, CCY Architects’ carefully crafted Elk Range Overlook stands as a rugged and modern interpretation of alpine architecture. Its stone, wood, steel and glass façade blends into its natural surroundings and provides a comfortable atmosphere for its its residents — an active family and their dog. As visitors approach, the single-story dwelling emerges from a grove of aspen trees at the end of a meadowed drive.
The living spaces are tucked beneath large glass walls which invite natural light and reveal stunning views of the distant Elk Mountains. The sloping property and soaring roofs open up the house to its surroundings, encouraging indoor-outdoor living and vistas of the Roaring Fork Valley.
images © Draper White | @draperphoto
living spaces open out to nature
In the design of the Elk Range Overlook, CCY Architects creates an harmonious blend of visual and spatial elements linking the interiors and the landscape beyond. Translucency and opacity are carefully balanced to allow for quick access to private areas as well as to open up engaging communal spaces. This combination of features is seen in the floor plan as well as in section across the varying levels of the house.
‘There was an emphasis placed on preserving the site’s natural character, by working with the existing sloped topography, to encourage connection between the outdoor landscape and interior spaces as you proceed into the site,’ notes CCY Principal Rich Carr. ‘The sloping site created opportunities to really integrate the home into its immediate surroundings while still connecting to views of the Elk Range.’
the sunlit ‘elk range overlook’
CCY Architects organizes the Elk Range Overlook with a central living space surrounded by secondary programming. These include a garage, mudroom, and office to the north, the main bedroom suite to the east, and children’s bedrooms the west. These separate sections are expressed in the architecture as solid masses connected by glass, with high clerestory windows above letting the primary roof hover over the living area and all that surrounds it. This overlapping of roof and building creates a dynamic intertwining of spaces, connecting all the public areas of the house.
CCY Associate, Gage Reese describes the carefully selected material palette: ‘The primary building materials of stone and wood aspire to blend with the natural surroundings and provide a sense of warmth to the project while reflecting the client’s contemporary mountain lifestyle.’
The project is a joint effort between CCY Architects and Ceres+ Landscape Architects, who together seek to preserve and enhance the existing natural landscape. The project aims to create designated spaces for both solitude and shared activities, all surrounded by the beauty of nature.
‘The design of this home is very specifically tied to this site and could not successfully exist in any other location,’ Reese concludes, ‘At select locations on the site, choreographed openings in the building masses allow visual connections through the structure. This attempts to weave together the quiet and anchored north side of the residence with the open and animated south side.
‘This spatially rich approach invites movement between programmatic elements and creates a powerful connection between interior spaces, the existing landscape, and the distant views. Groves of native Aspen trees provide shade and habitat for wildlife and bring calmness through the rustling of their leaves.’
an harmonious blend of interior and exterior space opens onto the landscape outdoor courtyards integrating a water feature lend an alpine oasis
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