North America

Xenon, Aspen Retreat, Colorado

Modern meets mountain in this Aspen retreat with ingenious architectural systems by Henrybuilt.

Whether or not you’ve had the pleasure of visiting a vibrant ski resort town, you will likely have a mental image of the lifestyle. The city of Aspen, Colorado is one of the world’s top skiing destinations, offering boundless outdoor recreation and buzzing après-ski.

Nestled between Aspen Mountain, Red Mountain and Mount Sopris, every element of this bespoke family home has been thoughtfully created to elevate life amongst the peaks. A sprawling 6,800 square feet of space includes 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms and every luxury amenity including a chef’s kitchen, media room, spa bath, outdoor spa and fire pit for winding down after an adventurous day outdoors.

The home was built from the ground up by Henrybuilt in collaboration with developer Good Property and landscape architect Design Workshop. Despite what would have been a crowded room of architects during the planning, the architecture is deceptively simple, focusing only on usable space. Carefully positioned rows of integrated kitchen cabinets mean that there is no need for even one exposed utensil, whilst a perfectly placed closet dictates certain shelving for items that are used often. These intuitive systems are the interior design itself, resulting in a clean concept which allows the many floor-to-ceiling windows with clarion views of Aspen to become the live artworks of the home.

A utilitarian style of architectural interiors is an esteemed trademark for Henrybuilt, who develop, engineer and craft their design systems from luxury-level materials in their 55,000 square foot facility in Seattle, Washington. They choose to respond to their clients intelligently and creatively to create a transformative experience around what it feels like to live in a home. The first sign of this is found at the entrance, where the doorway was positioned to be somewhat hidden to create a fun surprise upon entering and seeing the astounding views beyond. Bedrooms were planned as quiet, contemplative escapes from gathering areas with wide gallery-like connections between them, encouraging inhabitants to flow through the rooms, instead of hallways that can feel cold and disconnected. It comes as no surprise that Henrybuilt’s ingenious projects have collected over 60 major design awards across from their New York, San Francisco and Seattle offices since their inception in 2001.

Material choices were crucial in merging a warm touch with high performance. Aspen typically receives 179 inches of snowfall per year, therefore the furniture structures needed to offer both style and contrast against the freezing surroundings. A selection of wood was picked from a similar family so that they could complement one another without being too similar. From the wood ceiling and beams to the trims and finishes, varying degrees of light and dark keep the simplicity from feeling austere.

In Alpine homes, bathrooms often double as spas to impose tranquillity into the very nature of the landscape. Since the house already had a full spa in the basement, Henrybuilt aimed for the main bathrooms to be separate from the spa experience, rather places for cleaning and soothing the body after a day on the slopes, in the saddle, or on a hike. Nonetheless, choices were selected to be purposeful and impactful to continue the focus on luxury-level materials and craft methods throughout the home.

Metal finishes were chosen tentatively to conform to the warm modern feel. High performance spaces demand high performance fixtures and so Samuel Heath brassware was the perfect choice to provide appropriate solutions for all bathrooms, including double shower and powder rooms, all in a matching City Bronze finish. The style of Xenon bathroom brassware embodied the warm modern vision, as the fixtures present beautifully crafted, modern styling that is understated rather than ostentatious. In the master suite, the placement of the bathtub takes full advantage of the site’s greatest view towards downtown Aspen. Just three other elements evoke the ultimate serenity: smooth Tadelakt walls and floors, light oak vanities and as much Colorado sunshine as possible.

A pared-back approach to metal accessories was the initial plan for Henrybuilt however the homeowner fell for the design and feel of Samuel Heath brassware so much that they proceeded to fully accessorise their basin and shower fixtures with matching robe hooks, towel rails and paper holders, right down to the door stops. City Bronze was the perfect deep metallic shade that provided depth and a dichotomy of ‘old and new’, even complementing other pull hardware on Henrybuilt’s own bathroom vanities.

“We wanted to limit the number of metal finishes being used, so being able to match the hardware to the bathroom fixtures was key. It’s pretty hard to find a beautiful door lever that is not either overly modern or overly decorative. The P6052 profile was perfectly in the middle and felt really good to the touch.” - Henrybuilt

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