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EAST MEETS WEST ADIRONDACK AND MODERN, ASIAN AND WESTERN STYLES BLEND EFFORTLESSLY IN A FREE-FLOWING HOME ON THE SLOPES OF ASPEN HIGHLANDS

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Past and present and East and West harmonize in the dining room, which opens to the entry foyer, an open stairway backed by a soaring window and an elevator shaft clad in chocolate-brown painted wood panels. Charles Eisen wingback chairs upholstered in burgundy velvet surround a custom European dining table with a Macassar ebony wood top and parchment base. Portraits collected by the homeowners hang above a pair of gilded sideboards that were custom-built in Myanmar.

STORY BY NORMAN KOLPAS

PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMILY MINTON REDFIELD 75


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ARCHITECTURE BY ROBERT G. SINCLAIR ARCHITECTURE

INTERIOR DESIGN BY PETRA RICHARDS INTERIORS

BELOW: Detailed with a refined, minimalist touch, the home’s fir beams, cedar siding and stonework evoke the community’s Adirondack-inspired style guidelines. FACING PAGE: Suspended from the living room’s 20-foot-high central beam, custom metal chandeliers featuring Burmese folk-art birds evoke the evergreens visible on the snowy slopes. The fireplace, built of the same Flint Hills gray limestone as the exterior, is also visible from an exterior terrace that faces the slopes. Taupe silk mohair covers the Donghia chaise; the two Holly Hunt sofas are upholstered with dark-gray mohair.

esigning a home for a slopeside site alongside the main ski lift at Aspen Highlands presented architect Rob Sinclair with a variety of challenges. Chief among them was a logistical challenge: fit a 10,000-square-foot, four-story home on a steep quarter-acre lot, while considering city and county setback zoning restrictions and the additional constraints imposed by the presence of a ski lift just a stone’s throw away. Sinclair, principal of Aspen-based Robert G. Sinclair Architecture, met those requirements by designing a floor plan that gradually rotates, level by level, down the mountain’s slope. In addition, Sinclair’s clients were very specific about the vistas they wished to maximize, ranging from the ski slopes on the east, south to Aspen Highlands Mountain, southwest to Willow Peak, westward up Maroon Creek Valley and north to the Aspen Highlands village—and encompassing almost 360 degrees. “We built platforms on the site to simulate the floor levels,” Sinclair says, “and then we spent a lot of time assessing the views at different times of day, orienting the home to make the most of them.” >> 77


“I CAN’T THINK OF ONE DESIGN DETAIL WE DIDN’T CONSIDER, FROM THE FUMED-OAK FLOORS TO THE MILLWORK PANELING TO THE STAIRCASE’S STAINLESS-STEEL HARDWARE.” - ROB SINCLAIR

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The husband-and-wife owners also had specific stylistic requests for Sinclair and interior designer Petra Richards, of Denver-based Petra Richards Interiors. First and foremost, they wanted a modern house, which nonetheless had to adhere to the Adirondack-style design guidelines set forth in the development’s master plan, conceived by Robert A.M. Stern Architects. The team successfully harmonized those past- and present-day styles, says Sinclair, “by adding contemporary polish to traditional Adirondack details.” They included heavy timber rafter tails, for example, but gave them more sleeklooking radius ends. Lead-coated copper flashing between the exterior cedar siding boards represents the chinking you might see on an Adirondack-style home’s facade. Still more harmonies were struck when accommodating the clients’ desires for a clean-lined, modern home that also honored the wife’s Malaysian heritage—and a collection of fine Far Eastern art and artifacts. “She has her own very sophisticated sense of style,” Richards observes, “so our goal was to marry the modern world with the traditional world of Asia.” Richards accomplished this goal in part by designing many furnishings specifically for the home, then commissioning Patrick Robert, a French furniture designer based in Myanmar, to create each one—from sleek pieces with gilded surfaces that evoke traditional Asian finishes to elaborate, oversized living room chandeliers fashioned with folk-art flourishes. “The way those custom pieces were detailed and scaled ensured they would accommodate the Asian pieces our clients already had,” Sinclair says. >>

ABOVE, LEFT: White oak cabinetry contributes to the kitchen’s clean, open aesthetic. The oversized island range is surrounded by a stainless-steel countertop, its sheen echoed by the dining bar’s silvery Caesarstone top. ABOVE, RIGHT: Designer Petra Richards and architect Rob Sinclair pause beside a custom floor-to-ceiling display unit that serves as a divider between the foyer and living room. FACING PAGE: The staircase features treads of the same fumed oak used as flooring throughout the house. Tempered plate-glass siding contains the structure without impeding views.

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MARRYING EAST & WEST Interior designer Petra Richards and architect Rob Sinclair offer words of advice for blending different styles in a single setting. • KEEP AN EYE ON PROPORTIONS “I like to mix and match furnishings from different parts of the world,” Richards says. “The key is to get the scale right so everything is proportional, and to give each piece the space to speak for itself, whether it’s Asian or Western, old or new. • CHOOSE FINISHES CAREFULLY “To create a feeling of warmth in a home, avoid using cold, uninviting wall colors,” Richards advises. “We used a lot of grays, taupes, greens and browns to reflect the mountain

setting while providing a warm, neutral background for the Asian art.” • ENCOURAGE COLLABORATION For any project, and particularly one this complicated, it’s always important for the interior designer and architect to function as a team, Sinclair says. “Especially with respect to the finishes and detailing, we worked closely and held every meeting together. That way, when the Asian elements were inserted, they fit perfectly.”

The design duo intently focused on every last detail of the home to blend cultures seamlessly (see above). The result is a dwelling that in many respects feels like a contemporary museum devoted to the display of Eastern art. Not that there’s anything museum-like about the ease and comfort the finished home offers. Open living spaces flow effortlessly from one room to the next. Clean-lined seating upholstered in plush fabrics offers sublime relaxation. And large expanses of energy-efficient glass keep panoramic views on constant display, especially in the living room, where frameless corner windows “make the space feel as transparent as possible,” Sinclair says. Divergent design elements—modern architecture coupled with traditional Adirondack style, East married to West—and a challenging site, made for a project that, Sinclair says, “often felt like a 3-D chess game.” Fortunately, he and Richards seem to have made all the right moves. “We brought our clients’ imaginations and heritages into a mountain setting without it looking misplaced,” Richards says. Adds Sinclair, “We’ve achieved as much as could have been achieved, given all the constraints and wish lists. And well-satisfied clients are our best rewards of all.” ●

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Visit www.mountainliving.com for a guide to this home’s products and pros.


“ THE CLIENTS CHOSE TO HAVE A HOME THAT WAS VERY SLEEK, WITH CLEAN LINES AND LOTS OF GLASS, AND THAT SET THE CANVAS FROM WHICH WE BUILT UP THE DESIGN.” - PETRA RICHARDS

In the upper-level master suite, dark birch paneling is the backdrop for a headboard upholstered in Great Plains silk velvet from Holly Hunt. A Charles Eisen sofa and leather Barbara Barry ottoman/coffee table form a cozy sitting area. FACING PAGE, FROM FAR LEFT: In a guest suite, a black-stained teak bed faces a limestone fireplace and a television framed in white oak paneling. A Burmese console table and antique flowerframed mirror bid welcome to another guest room.

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Profile for Robert G. Sinclair Architecture, Inc.

RGSA Article in Mountain Living - East Meets West  

Adirondack and modern, asian and western styles blend effortlessly in a free-flowing home on the slopes of Aspen Highlands

RGSA Article in Mountain Living - East Meets West  

Adirondack and modern, asian and western styles blend effortlessly in a free-flowing home on the slopes of Aspen Highlands

Profile for rgsarch
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