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House Tour: Dual Personality in Aspen

There is a temptation to assume that all Aspen visitors are escapists who seek remote mountain hideaways without a neighboring soul for miles. Some adventurists, however, long for the opposite, preferring a location closer to Aspen’s core, near world-class skiing, shopping, five-star dining, nightlife and outdoor recreation. A brand-new 8,200 square-foot contemporary on Miners Trail manages to marry these two desires brilliantly.

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“It’s the best of both worlds,” says Chris Souki, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate who is representing the property. “The innovative design frames panoramic views from Mt. Sopris, Aspen Mountain and up to Independence Pass from virtually any space on the main and upper levels. Yet it lies just a few minutes from town and less than a mile from the gondola. In the summer, you can walk into town…depending on your fortitude, of course.”

Designed by award-winning local firm Poss Architecture + Planning with interiors by Paige Larkin Development + Design and Poss Interior Design, the home takes cues from the mountain terrain, while maintaining a classically modern aesthetic. Recalls Bill Poss, partner and architect: “We took a modernist approach to a mountain house. The residence takes full advantage of views — which are spectacular — and the site’s location, which gives you a front row seat of Aspen Mountain and the valley floor below you. We developed a concept for the exterior, while our interior team had a lot of input on the interiors and the use of exterior materials, so as you move from inside to outside, it feels completely seamless.”

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Cantilevered roof planes float against stonewalls, allowing natural light to flood into the open floorplan through Hope’s doors and clerestory windows. Zinc, wood and hand-chiseled limestone offer both texture and a harmonious connection to the surrounding landscape. Lift and slide doors allow for the home to completely open to the exterior for a true indoor/outdoor experience.

“There is a serene feeling from the moment you enter the property,” describes Souki. “A sunken garden with a reflecting pool and tree at the entry literally brings nature to your doorstep as you cross over a bridge that leads to the foyer. The sunken garden also flows abundant light and nature into the theater and entertainment area at lower garden level.”

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An awe-inspiring sense of warmth permeates throughout the spacious interiors. New pearl limestone and walnut wood lines the walls, European oak plank floors, crystal white quartz and rich Taj Mahal slabs also lend a sense of authenticity to each room.

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The interiors offer subtle gestures to the omnipresence of nature: a Christopher Martin original painting hangs in the living room and pays tribute to the bright blue sky beyond the expansive windows, a sheered antler console table at the entry recalls Colorado’s ranching history. Every custom detail was meticulously planned, every design decision was carefully considered to create a sense of harmony at every moment in the house.

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“We brought in the finest materials money can buy,” explains Larkin, who worked tirelessly with the team to develop a soft palette of fabrics, furnishings and art that complemented the warmth and beauty of the architecture. “Every fabric we used – whether it was cashmere and mohair sourced from the best fabric houses in the country or one-of-a-kind artwork — was mindfully selected based on quality, feel and texture. It’s furnished down to the very last detail. You don’t even need to bring your toothbrush.”

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The idea that the future homeowner could simply just move right into a fully furnished, fully stocked and professionally decorated home served as the primary motivator for the team, pushing them to exceed the traditional parameters of spec house. Careful to steer away from trends or flashy architectural gimmicks, they sought to create an environment that felt classic and rooted. “This home is built to stand the test of time,” says Larkin. Souki adds: “We wanted it to feel timeless, but still relevant.”

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Relevance was a consideration for the designers as they sought to incorporate elements that a discriminating buyer would value. They achieved this by thoughtfully balancing the private and public spaces. For instance, they added a door at the entrance to the bedroom wing “to give privacy to guests,” says Souki. At the same, the floorpan was designed to offer completely open living, so everyone can be in the same room at the same time, explains Andrew Wisnoski, partner at Poss Architecture.

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“There aren’t private dining rooms or living rooms,” he notes. “The home is well-suited as a legacy home for families and future generations to grow up in the house. ”

The design team took this idea to the extreme. Even the movie theater opens up to the game room and bar area to create a seamless, fully integrated entertaining space on the lower level.

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“In my experience, theaters are dark spaces that end up not being used,” says Larkin. “With this open concept theater, you can eat and drink while you have the game on, and yet you still have all of the state-of-the-art features of a theater, such as soundproof doors. It’s much more user-friendly.”

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Outside, the team built an outdoor fireplace for entertaining, plus a 1,458 square-foot additional caretaker unit across the street. And instead of opening the kitchen to the great room (as is common in today’s contemporary homes), they opted for formality. Suggests Souki: “The owner who employs a personal chef may appreciate more separation between the meal preparation and living spaces.”

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Modern-day advancements give the home even greater relevance: Wolf and Sub Zero appliances in the chef’s kitchen and a Savant Home system.

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Wellness features have also been thoughtfully integrated into the home, including water and air filtration systems, blackout window treatments and aromatherapy in all five bedrooms, as well as soundproofing between the floors. One hardly notices the technology—and that’s the intention. “It’s all designed to give the owner more time to enjoy the Aspen lifestyle,” says Souki.

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Whether you want to relax in your private outdoor spa or walk into town to meet friends, this prized residence ensures you can enjoy both in equal measure.

This estate is currently on the market for $32,000,000. For additional information, contact Chris Souki at (970) 925-7000 or Chris@masonmorse.com.  

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House Tour: Dual Personality in Aspen

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