Mr. Lukes worked on this contemporary home as a project architect in the Aspen firm of Copland Hagman Yaw, participating in the design of the home and the preparation of the construction documents. I was also the architect’s field representative during construction.
Eighteen years later, he was asked by the same owners to design a complete exterior renovation of the house along with numerous interior changes, including a new kitchen, expanded dining room, and new master suite. The project also included a completely new landscape plan highlighted by a new water feature including a stream with small pools that appears to have existed in the natural landscape and which provides a focal point for the new dining room.
The new kitchen was the result of a close collaboration with the owner to ensure that every detail of the kitchen and adjacent areas met her specific functional requirements without compromise to the aesthetics that she desired.
In addition to the architectural and interior renovations, Mr. Lukes designed a custom 14' long dining table which was built for this space and also designed the built-in furnishings for the master suite.
COOK BARN Pitkin County, Colorado
2,900 square foot Equestrian Barn with vehicle storage and outdoor riding arena
This project was the first phase of an improvement plan for Dr. Cook’s six acre parcel in Starwood which also includes a renovation of the existing home and construction of a caretaker unit near the main house.
The owner’s program included development of a new barn which could house up to four horses on a year-round basis and house the equipment necessary to maintain the property and transport the horses, with new access to the street. Although most of the six acres is fenced and has been used for grazing, the property is sloped and the program also included a leveled riding arena which would be safer for the horses and riders.
The design uses a very traditional monitor form for the roofs and utilizes a 6' overhang to both protect hay and other outside storage. The relatively low sloping roofs respond to the slope of the land and visually emphasize the roof forms rather than the building walls. The materials and colors include field stone, natural wood siding, and heavy timber framing and are intended to set a new vocabulary which will be used with some variation for the renovation of the main house.
COOK RESIDENCE Pitkin County, Colorado
10,000 square foot residence and 700 square foot detached guest cottage Construction underway
Following the development of a design for the barn on the same property, the second phase of work for Dr. Cook involved an interior and exterior re-design of the existing house and also design of a new guest cottage that would be distinct from, but related to, the main house.
The interior re-design involved considerable study of alternatives to address serious functional shortcomings resulting from earlier remodels and additions; those earlier alterations resulted in unusual room locations, poor internal circulation, and a lack of definition for the main entrance to the home. This renovation addresses those issues as well as updates the overall appearance and relates the house to the new barn.
The exterior re-design concentrates on creating some articulation and hierarchy of forms to avoid the expanses of dark brown siding that now exist, and to develop an exterior vocabulary that is both related to the character of the new barn and consistent with the low height and pronounced horizontality of the existing structure.
The design of the cottage is intended to provide a separation from the main house and maximize the incredible views of the Elk Mountain range while using building forms that do not compete with the main house and which are quite low to avoid blocking any existing views. The building appears as a small cottage nestled in a grove of trees along the driveway and both defines the auto court and helps lead the visitor to the main entrance garden. The L shape of the building provides a uniquely livable floor plan within the limitations of the allowed 700 square feet of floor area.
KAMINS RESIDENCE Pitkin County, Colorado
14,500 square foot residence not built
This project includes several additions onto an existing home that was built in the 1970's and added onto in the 1980's. The additions total approximately 7,000 square feet and the project includes a substantial interior re-configuration of the existing structure.
The initial assignment for this client was to obtain governmental and homeowners association approvals to construct additional bedrooms and a caretaker unit. The approval processes required the exploration of several alternate design approaches and included preparation of the approval requests and presentations at a number of public hearings and meetings.
The design solution focuses on a heavily landscaped courtyard which was created by connecting an L-shaped addition to the existing house. This allows many of the existing and new rooms to have both distant views and views of a carefully designed outdoor space, and also orients the home’s windows and living areas inward to maintain privacy to and from neighboring properties. The design of the new wings uses elements of the existing house to create a more coherent whole rather than creating a new vocabulary, while the roof forms and heights are intended to respond to the sloping site and to minimize the apparent size of the home.
BIRDS OF PREY SHELTER Aspen Center for Environmental Studies
Design Architect: William Lukes AIA Architect of Record: Hagman Yaw Architects
The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is an educational center and environmental oasis very near the center of town. The center includes several acres of wetlands, riparian zones, and ponds near the confluence of the Roaring Fork River and Hunter Creek and is the base for a variety of naturalist programs involving local school classes as well as visitors to Aspen and a large internship program for young adults.
In addition to the more terrestrially based activities involving native species of trout, beavers, and other animals which live in riparian environments, the natural environment of the center has always hosted a large and diverse avian population consisting of both migratory and native species. The center became a place of refuge for several injured and displaced birds of prey in the early 1980's, and it became necessary to provide both accommodation and treatment facilities for these birds, both for the well-being of the birds and to comply with federal regulations which cover facilities housing certain types of eagles and hawks.
Situated within the perimeter of the wildlife sanctuary, the siting and design of the building had to carefully consider all possible impacts on the aesthetic and ecological environment, and had to provide suitable containment for the birds which would minimize stress and prevent injuries.
The design solution utilizes a simple form from the local ranching vernacular and pays homage to both the traditional birdhouse and the swept back design of a bird’s wings. The enclosures for housing the birds allow both public observation and separate staff access for feeding and care, while providing the right balance of sun and shade.
An isolation ward is located within the roof on the upper level; this room houses any recuperating birds that cannot be exposed to the outdoors so an interior viewing perch overlooks the sanctuary.
MAROON CREEK CLUB MAIL CENTER Aspen, Colorado
A new building in an existing subdivision to house a postal sub-station for this high-end subdivision.
The design of this very small structure near an intersection of streets is intended to evoke crossing guard shelters as used to be found near schools and railroads. The materials, colors and detailing utilize the vocabulary of the surrounding homes. Interior lighting is provided by a stand-alone solar collector system.
STARWOOD PUMP BUILDINGS Pitkin County, Colorado
Three very small buildings to house equipment and pumps for a private water system in a high-end subdivision. The design utilizes materials more commonly found in nearby homes than are often used for service buildings because each building sits prominently near a road and is highly visible. The building forms are intended to evoke the character of older railway siding buildings commonly found throughout the West.
ASPEN SKIING COMPANY HEADQUARTERS Pitkin County, Colorado
Project Architect for The Ernemann Group Architects
The Aspen Skiing Company Headquarters centralizes the managerial operations and materials inventory of the company at one location on the highway leading into the resort town of Aspen. The client requested that the design carefully reflect the desired image of the Aspen Skiing Company. The program for the 22,000 SF facility required a variety of functions to be incorporated into an efficient, flexible building, one which in all respects would communicate the importance of quality in the service that the company provides.
The solution includes 16,000 square feet of offices on three levels corresponding to departmental organization, 5000 square feet of warehouse for storage and service of equipment used at the ski areas, centralized shipping/receiving and a two bedroom employee apartment.
Due to the very different operational requirements of the office and warehousing areas, the facility is articulated into its functional components. The office wing is separated from the stair towers and core by an interior circulation spine; the steel frame structure responds to the client's selection of a flexible open office furnishing system by eliminating all interior load-bearing walls. The orientation of the offices maximizes use of natural ventilation and daylighting for the three office floors; the warehouse wing, requiring fewer windows, is a load-bearing masonry structure. The thermal mass of the masonry is utilized by extensive direct-gain glazing on the south elevation with automated interior moveable insulation.
The massing of the building not only expresses the range of interior functions but also reduces its apparent scale by the use of stepped, horizontal forms and by extending the building materials into landscaped areas of the site. The entrance to the building, across a bridge at the middle level and looking through the office wing to a cluster of aspen trees in a small courtyard, brings the landscape into the interior of the building and evokes the complementary relationship of skiing in the mountains and the business of providing skiing.