VAN STRAATEN RESIDENCE
This 1970’s tract house was transformed and reconfigured into a unified statement of contemporary mountain life. Through the use of materials and details, a modernist vocabulary was crafted to reflect, without mimicking, mountain residential architecture in such a way as to transcend the clichéd log cabin/lodge aesthetic of Aspen and other mountain resorts.
Existing exterior wall cladding and roofing have been preserved. New room additions have been articulated from the original house with contrasting form sand materials. These are clad in natural vertical cedar boards and are flat roofed. The front and back of the house have different facades. This developed as a natural outgrowth of the existing house's relationship to its site: private and closed at the front, open to nature at the rear. In front, a heavy timber screen floats over the existing siding and refers to vernacular log construction while distinguishing it from the conventional tract home. At the rear, a new guardrail and deck visually extend the inside spaces out into the landscape beyond.
Inside, a low oxidized sheet steel soffit, the “spine” of the new floor plan, runs the entire length of the house from entrance to south window wall strengthening the sense of entry and leading the eye outward into the expanding vista of Nature. It also subtly divides the living room from the kitchen/dining areas. Stainless steel and hand rubbed galvanized sheet metal play off one another in tone and sheen, and contrast with the oxidized steel planes. Cool and warm metals are set against a soft field of wide plank fir floorboards.
The house demonstrates that modern design can have 'warmth' a desirable quality in an environment of short days and cold winter light.