Near | Far House

Near | Far House

Willis Pember Architects
Aspen, CO, USA | View Map
Project Year
Private Houses
Ross Cooperthwaite
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Kitchen CountersCaesarstone
Stair handrail and guardrailCustom Steel Fabricators, Inc.
Facade metal cladding, custom fabricationsEnglert
Windows and DoorsLoewen
ApplliancesMiele & Cie. KG

Product Spec Sheet
Kitchen Counters
Stair handrail and guardrail
Facade metal cladding, custom fabrications
by Englert
Windows and Doors
by Loewen

Near | Far House

Willis Pember Architects as Architects

SCOPE: Addition to an architect’s MCM single family residence of a new 1/2 Duplex - the Near|Far house.

SITE: Located on a narrow, 70’s suburban cul-de-sac between a steep butteto the North and a golf course to the South that includes panoramic views of major Rocky Mountain peaks. Existing landscape includes densely planted, mature spruce and aspen trees on a sloping hillside.

CONCEPT: A performance based, critical environmental engagement is seen as primary task of the architecture of our time. Performance is measured not only as a quantifiable entity, as in pounds of CO2, but more inclusively, as a means by which architecture measures our daily lives. Sustainability broadened.

Architecture is situational. Better buildings have been able to extend their topographical reach, or be oriented beyond themselves.

Buildings allow themselves to be understood as independent images and at other times, recede from prominence to accommodate other issues; they provide a mediating role between landscape and interior settings, engagement and negotiation with natural processes, and a basis for everyday life. Buildings have the dual role of showing and serving, acknowledging and enriching existing conditions.

Near|Far House involves itself in the ability, or counter-positioning of a structure, to acknowledge a specific matrix of landscape engagements.  Architecture integrates a vicinity. Less an object than a series of configurations, each is a hinge or pivot in a matrix of engagements.

Modern Painting, especially early cubists, identified congruence in the juxtaposition of typical settings of dramatically different scale and proximity: table, bottle, newspaper, distant landscape, weather and daylight - that create, albeit abstract, a more whole or ‘thicker’ experience. A table, table setting, window, light and sound and shadows are mutually and reciprocally intertwined.

So too in Architecture, near and far elements are collapsed in experience and as a consequence of the process of articulating construction.

Near|Far House allows the imprint of the landscape field to impress itself upon specific architectural configurations. They include:

East: Close stand of slender aspen trees. The punched windows isolate a field of individual trunks and mirror the typical views, shadows and daylight one receives in this natural setting.

North: Red Butte rises 450 feet and encloses the site to the north. An upper clerestory roof is inflected to receive the profile of the butte, while glazing at the front door allows extension of the interior terrain into the landscaped front-yard ground plane.

South: Windows|distant views exist through openings in ‘walls’ of mature foreground trees. South end of the house parallels the stream and is a single viewing platform|belvedere to both near wall of trees and distant mountain landmarks.

Each orientation of Near|Far house is counter-positioned to create a specific engagement and reciprocity or contingency within the landscape field.

FORMAL RESOLUTION: Near|Far house extends the vocabulary of the adjacent 70's post and beam hovering roof planes; new planes hover as well as are folded, bent and punctured as a way of opening up the enclosure to specific exterior opportunities, engagements, reciprocities and contingencies.

Material Used :

1. Loewen - Windows and Doors

2. Rain Screen siding –Stained Clear Cedar over black Vaprosheild moisture barrier

3. Englert – Facade metal cladding, custom fabrications

4. Custom Concrete floors and stain

5. Concrete Design LLC - Pre-cast Concrete stair treads

6. Custom Steel fabrications: plate steel entry door and firepiece claddings

7. Custom Steel fabrications: stair handrail and guardrail

8. Meile - Applliances

9. Sub-Zero - Refrigeration

10. Watermark – Plumbing Hardware

11. Caesarstone – Kitchen Counters

12. Rocky Mountain Hardware – Door hardware

13. Dunn – Dining room pendant – Sorenthia series

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