In Woody Creek, the High White Note

General / People / Places / January 28, 2010

Two and a half minutes from Woody Creek Tavern, where Hunter Thompson once held court, lies a well-sited house with views of the Roaring Fork and the town of Aspen.

It’s much quieter now. The good doctor is gone. And this home, designed by Rowland + Broughton Architecture and Urban Design, stands as a symbol of a different sensibility.

“It’s not in your face,” said firm principal Sarah Broughton. “It’s intuitive. We believe that architecture is more like something that feels right – it’s about scale, space and light. It’s about everything working together.”

The firm’s challenge was to build a house that was affordable (it came in at $250 per square foot), as energy-efficient as possible – and sustainable. Then, too, the client wanted prefab. So the big question for the architect was: “How do we dress up a box?”

The answer lay with Galvalume siding, boards of red cedar and floors in an adobe style. They’re three-inch-thick layers of clay and sand, bound by straw – and packed down. Once dried, they were covered with a thin layer of wax.

The R-value is high since the home was constructed with SIPs throughout, and its walls insulated with recycled newsprint.

But the site tells the tale here. The architects preserved a number of cottonwood trees during construction, and now they frame views from courtyard and living room. The Roaring Fork is visible at every turn, especially from a rooftop terrace. “The river and the views drove all our decisions,” Sarah said.

Hunter Thompson alluded frequently to Scott Fitzgerald’s (and by implication, his own) relentless pursuit of the “high white note.” Here in Woody Creek, Rowland + Broughton may have located the grail they sought.

For more, go here.

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Michael Welton




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2 Comments

on January 29, 2010

Very nice, tranquil in an almost oriental vein. Needs rifle ports and a high/low trap house addition in my opinion.

on August 26, 2017

I love the design it’s very peaceful and elegant looking combination.



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