—Inside a rustic residence tucked in one of Aspen’s most exclusive neighborhoods.
By By Kelly Edgeworth | Photography by Laziz Hamani
Nestled in the hills of Aspen’s Red Mountain community lies a structure so solitary and natural it seems as if it rose from the ground it sits upon. La Muna, a renovated ski chalet by Miami-based Oppenheim Architecture + Design LLP., seamlessly blends into the surrounding forested environment of Colorado.
The exterior relays a sense of strength and power as it stands on an immense stone base that runs around the perimeter of the home, reflecting the warmth of the outdoors into the rooms inside. Paying homage to the Japanese worldview of wabi-sabi—centered around the acceptance of transience and imperfection—this home personifies a sensible character.
Spanning 3,500 square feet, this private home is crafted out of locally reclaimed glass, wood, steel and stone—making it almost entirely sustainable. Adding to its self-sufficiency, La Muna’s main energy source comes from solar collectors, proving that luxury does not have to come at the expense of the earth. These solar panels, in conjunction with large panes of insulated glass, make for an eco-friendly way to keep the house warm during those cold winter days.
“The home is intended to make a minimal impact on the natural resources and merge effortlessly with its idyllic surroundings of forest, stream and mountain,” the studio says.
Outside on the ground floor, a medium-sized hot tub precedes back views of the forest and the residual steam mixed with the cold creates a mystical vantage point of the surrounding woodlands. An alternative view of the backyard can be seen from above the aforementioned brick wall secured by a glass panel guard railing. Ideal for entertaining, the deck overlooking the snow-capped, temperate Colorado mountain range at either the stone oval dining table or the cushioned wooden outdoor seating is perfectly accompanied by a rectangular steel fire-pit.
The interior features a number of rooms made from unfinished timber, reminiscent of an antique, rustic cabin. The kitchen holds an island with a built-in stove and stone countertop, surrounded by wood and leather seating for those early morning family breakfasts. Adding to the wabi-sabi design of the house is the angular flagstone flooring, which leads out to the living room and past the sliding glass doors onto the patio.
The home’s dining room features a long wooden table with two benches opposite from each other, suitable for family gatherings at any time of the day. Upon entering the dining room, one is greeted with a large square art piece that looks as if it is covered by a variant of green, yellow and brown mosses, echoing the home’s dedication to leaving the smallest carbon footprint it can.
Across from the dining room is a living area furnished with gray-brown carpeting, two irregularly shaped stone and wood end tables, a stone coffee table and two ash gray sofas. The room itself can be warmed up by an off-kilter steel fireplace almost resembling an old television.
The split-level home also boasts a lounge and pool room, both of which are centered around a large fireplace making sure one is never cold in their new living space. The everyday living area is located on the second mid-level of the house, spacious and clad, made entirely out of the reclaimed timber that runs thematically throughout the whole house.
Upstairs, there are two small bedrooms each with their own bathroom and a master bedroom on the top floor under a vaulted wooden ceiling. One bedroom holds an art piece calling back to an older, more rustic time during Colorado’s history. All the bedrooms have views of the outdoors through the previously mentioned operable glass paneled windows.
La Muna is contradictory in a purposeful and beautiful way. The rustic nature of the home fits perfectly into the encircling countryside through its rugged and majestic design. It is respectful of its environment and yet juxtaposes the opulence of most modern buildings, creating a perfectly imperfect home.