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open house | home

moving mountains

Robert G. Sinclair

implements luxury within steep parameters By Linda Hayes

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When Aspen architect Robert G. Sinclair agreed to design a luxe second home adjacent to the Exhibition Lift at Aspen Highlands, little did he know that the steep hillside location would present so many challenges. “It was the most difficult site I’ve ever worked on,” he says. “The proximity to the slopes, the soils, the constraints of the city’s height requirements, and Aspen Highlands Village design guidelines all came into play.” That said, those same issues give the four-level, 10,000-square-foot home much of its architectural integrity and flair. The overall aesthetic, which Sinclair calls “contemporized Adirondack,” is an interpretation of the Village’s insistence upon Adirondack design. A

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phtography: David O. Marlow courtesy Robert G. Sinclair Architecture, Inc.

The Sinclair house is perfectly positioned for the ultimate ski-in/ski-out lifestyle


open house | home

(Below) A Buddha stands at the entrance to the spa. Open on three sides to ski slope and mountain views, the home's living room (right) features dark grey sofas by Christian Liaigre and a curvy daybed from Donghia. The coffee table and twin chandeliers were custom built in Myanmar.

stacked “Flint Hills Grey” stone veneer around the exterior pairs with Western red cedar siding, lead-coated copper flashing, reclaimed fir timbers, and a jumbo cedar shake roof. The fact that the site falls diagonally 28 feet from corner to corner (the maximum height allowed for construction) informed the home’s downward spiral and the unique configuration of the interior spaces. Instead of the open-great-room design so common to large-scale mountain homes in the area, rooms are compartmentalized and proportionate. “We tried to manage as many level changes as possible,” says Sinclair, who specializes in creating site-specific environments for high-end clients from New York to Georgia to Los Angeles. “Each room and level has its own character,

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open house | home identified by wood species and finishes. The flow comes from consistent views of the slopes.” Interior design work was a close collaboration between Sinclair and his team, including Scott Kraehnke, Alison Agley, and Michael Bilger and Petra Richards of Petra Richards Interiors in Denver. In the main-floor living room, views from floor-to-ceiling windows and through a double-sided fireplace are softened by neutral linen drapes by Kravet and custom furnishings by Christian Liaigre and Donghia. A pair of handcrafted tin chandeliers from Burma hang from the 24-foot ceiling. “My work is ultimately a reflection of my

clients’ tastes and desires melded with my vision,” says Richards, who designs for an international clientele. “For this project, modern furniture with clean lines mixed in well with Asian pieces that fit the owners’ lifestyle and reflected (the wife’s) heritage.” Adjoining yet independent spaces include a formal dining room with a table from Promemoria in Milan and chairs by Charles Eisen, as well as a sleek kitchen featuring custom oak cabinetry, French fumed-oak floors carried over from the living room, a custom stainless steel island countertop, and a breakfast nook with views of the Highlands Village and Starwood beyond.

A sculptural oak and glass stairway connects the levels of the house (above). The private his-and-her spa (right) has an Asian influence inspired by the wife's heritage. Pieces in niches are found objects and from the owners' collection.

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open house | home The upper level is privacy perfected. The 1,200-square-foot master suite is plush, with custom furnishings, rich fabrics such as mohair, leather, and silk, a seating area with fireplace and hidden television, and his-and-her baths and wardrobes. Highlights of the lower two levels include a trio of guest bedrooms, an Asian-inspired spa and massage room, bar and game rooms, and a state-of-the-art theater behind a secret door. “The house was designed for livability,” Sinclair says. “When they’re in town, the owners can spend time there alone on the main and master floors or with guests on the floors below.” In addition to a tiny elevator, the levels of the home are joined by a sculptural stairway constructed of oak treads (made from oak not suitable for actual flooring), timber stringers, and a glass-panel “rail.” Venetian plaster walls with a striated gold-wash finish add a sense of glam. “We flexed our design muscles and really looked at how far we could take the detail,” Sinclair says. “The owners went with it, and it really paid off.”

Where to Get it Architect: Robert G. Sinclair, Robert G. Sinclair Architecture, Inc., Aspen, 970-925-4269 Builder: Aspen Custom Builders, Basalt, 970-927-9700 Interior Design: Petra Richards of Petra Richards Interiors, Denver, 720-201-1999 Millwork: Mark Terkun, Aspen Design Works, Carbondale, 970-963-8560

The formal dining room is elegantly appointed with a dining room table from Promemoria and chairs by Charles Eisen. Natural woods and tile warm up the master bath (right).

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Aspen Magazine + RGSA  

An Article featuring a private residence we created on Highlands Ski Mountain next to the slopes.

Aspen Magazine + RGSA  

An Article featuring a private residence we created on Highlands Ski Mountain next to the slopes.

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