The cold season is rapidly approaching and you’re dreaming of a mountain side retreat – consider the small, yet lovely Wrap House, designed by Studio B Architects in Aspen, Colorado. The quintessential skiing resort in the U.S., Aspen provides awesome mountainous landscapes covered in age-old forests. In such a setting stands the Wrap House, too. Built on a Historic Lot Split in Aspen’s forested East End, the three-level home was required to closely follow the style of the Swiss-inspired neighborhood, with its chalet-like homes, not too massive in size, and with designs that are mostly wooden-clad. This having been said, the Studio B team set off to work, in partnership with the contractors at Koru Construction. In 2010, they had completed a chic little retreat, fully functional, with interiors making ingenious use of traditional materials such as wood and glass, and an overall vibe that is at once contemporary and warm. The home is impressive in its simplicity, as attested by the 2011 Historic Preservation Commission Honor Award which it garnered its designers.
Several elements dominate and define the design. The first one is the use of staircases – two of them to be more precise. There is a floating set of stairs inside, set in mahogany, which connects all three stories. Its glazed banister and open detailing help illuminate the space, and the staircase shaft also serves as a light well for the lower level. The public upper level, with ample windows for soaking up the scenic view, is wrapped in a large walkway that provides access to the two wooden decks, at the front and the rear of the house, respectively. The rear deck is fitted with an outdoor spiraling staircase which links with the rooftop terrace. This same deck stands as a roof for the entrance area to the house. Yet another striking design element is the clever juxtaposition of materials – metal, wood and glass come together to create an atmosphere that is at once contemporary and timeless. Last but not least, the window design, complemented by the light fixtures used, helps set the mood for all times of day, for relaxation, for family time, for work and for play. Photos taken by Raul J. Garcia and Derek Skalko.