We were thrilled last week when Curbed covered our passion project, an affordable housing complex in Telluride, Colorado. Virginia Placer includes a combination of communal living, tiny homes and apartment units; and was designed for the Telluride residents who are the backbone and soul of the town.
Comprised of 18 apartment units, a 46-bed Boarding House and 3 Tiny Homes, the project accommodates a mix of incomes, individuals and families. According to Charles, it’s truly a labor of love. “When a community is stable (i.e. when people can afford to live there, even if it’s in subsidized),” explains Charles, “inhabitants on both ends of the financial spectrum benefit and thrive.” A balance was struck between affordability and sustainability with passive solar and ventilation, maintenance-free materials, and design in this new neighborhood a short walk from downtown Telluride.
There’s no greater accomplishment than earning both the clients’ and editors’ stamp of approval. That was just the case with this condominium remodel, recently featured in Mountain Living.
Last year, a New York-based couple, who purchased the condo as a second home, hired us to help them reimagine the very disjointed structure. Originally two units that had been united as one, this space did not inspire the couple, but they couldn’t help but fall for the classic views and unparallelled location at the base of Aspen Mountain.
“It was both an interesting and a challenging project,” said Principal Architect Charles Cunniffe. “The building is situated on a steep street. It’s nestled into the mountainside… and it had settled considerably during the past 50-plus years.”
To make the most out of the two-bedroom home, we created a new floor plan and collaborated with enlisted Aspen-based contractor Craig Barnes to tackle the the slope of the floor. CCA’s Marina Skiles worked closely with the homeowner to create a soothing, neutral color palette and thoughtful furniture selections that maximized the condo’s full potential. The result is a clean, streamlined pied-à-terre perfect for winter vacations spent on the slopes.
We are honored that local waste diversion company EverGreen ZeroWaste recently awarded CCA the “We Compost” badge for our recent composting efforts. But, it’s really EverGreen ZeroWaste, who collects compostables from businesses to minimize environmental impact, who deserve the kudos!
An integral part of our community here in Aspen, EverGreen ZeroWaste have been keeping discards out of landfills and offering educational support for waste-diversion programs for close to a decade.
Composting is one important part of the limited impact we try to have on our environment. It produces a variety of benefits like reduced greenhouse gas emissions, clean water and improved soil quality.
Thank you to EverGreen ZeroWaste. We are proud to partner with them! To learn more about them and what they do, click here.
Last month, Charles was invited to be a panelist at the 10th Annual Architecture Series by the Aspen Museum. Shortly after, Senior Architect Jim Kehoe was asked to present at the ‘2018 PechaKucha: A Discussion for Emerging Voices,’ an annual series by the museum where architects and designers present new practices to the local community.
Jim covered a topic he is familiar with, the intersection of well-being and architecture, highlighting the ways that design can reduce stress and enhance happiness. Sighting recent CCA projects in Telluride, CO and Phoenix, AZ, Jim shared design techniques such as raised windows to maximize light and proximity to nature, all which have positive effects on executive functions of the brain.
Alongside Jim, panelists included Ashley Clark, Alex Klumb, Lea Sisson, Will Young. To read more about PechaKucha, click here.
To view the entire lecture on Facebook, click here.
Earlier this month, the Aspen Art Museum invited Charles of CCA to be a panelist for their tenth Annual Architecture Lecture Series. The topic at hand: the past, present and future of Aspen design.
Moderated by the President of the American Institute of Architects, Carl Elefante, the five architect panel spoke on everything from the rich tradition of architecture in Aspen and the remarkable clientele, to the formidable climate and the spirit of the land, all of which inspires and informs the work they do.
Alongside Charles, panelists included architects John Cottle, Sarah Broughton, and Scott Lindenau.
Day in the Life of Senior Project Manager Erica Delak
Mother of two busy kids, adoring wife, and Senior Project Manager to some of CCA’s most notable projects including Elk Peak Ranch and Willoughby Way, Erica sits down with us to map out a typical day.
The first 20 minutes of each day are spent begging and pleading for my kids to get out of bed. (“Hurry up! I have a meeting! If you’re late, I’m late! Get out of bed!! GET OUT OF BED!! NOW!!!”) Once they are upright, I take their breakfast orders. After checking the school lunch menu, my husband and I create an assembly line to put snacks and healthy lunches together for them. Between making breakfasts and lunches, I franticly search the house for my daughter’s soccer leggings, that she MUST wear today.
The kids are dropped off at school with only a few minutes to spare, before the second bell rings. After the kids are dropped off, I get ready for work and spend the first few minutes of alone-time for the day, reading the local newspaperheadlines on my phone.
The first thing I do after arriving at the office is make myself a double-shot espresso latte, of which I cannot function without. I then read emails while sipping my latte, as a few of my clients are very early risers and/or live in different time zones. I meet with my team on our goals for the day & week, and be sure everyone is squared away and meeting times are confirmed.
I am usually drafting/working on production drawings, listening to music on my headphones – electronic, techno or dance – something fast and in line with by caffeine buzz. It is around this time that I start to pump myself up and mentally prepare myself for my noon work-out at Pure Barre. Before heading out, I check in with Charles on the upcoming client meeting we have and nail down a design direction we’ve been working on.
The first thing I do after lunch is check emails again & check-in with the team. Feeling accomplished and energized after my morning push and lunchtime work-out, I am back on the computer working on drawing development, review and coordination. Often a design challenge comes up that requires a team effort, so I gather the team around the work table for a design charrette – more minds are better than one!
By this time my kids have checked-in with me and are at their respective sports practices. I check back with my team and do a final email check, to be sure the day is buttoned up, and tomorrow’s work is outlined. One last email check, and a quick response to a client billing question from Dave, and the work day is done.
I pick up the kids on the way home from work, and arrive home to dinner prep already underway by my husband. I jump in to help him, and we recap our day over wine. After dinner, homework, more begging and pleading for the kids to go to bed, I am out the door to hockey practice.
Erica is one of CCA’s top Senior Project Managers. Her role in the firm includes developing design drawings, coordinating and reviewing drawings with design team and consultants, managing the construction process and working closely with the clients to ensure a successful project. For more info on Erica, visit our website to see her bio.
Last week, our own Director of Marketing, Rebecca Richardson, was the guest on the top rated podcast to the design industry, A Well Designed Business. Hosted by the lively luxury window treatment retailer and author of the book The Making of A Well-Designed Business, LuAnn Nigara, the episode hour covered the often overlooked — but always important — topic of hiring for a small to medium size design firm.
From the importance of a holistic approach, to how to look at the necessary roles within the office structure, internships (how they can really make you stand out as a job applicant), the best questions to ask when conducting a phone interview, and how to get the information that you really need when doing a reference check, the show was chock full of great tips from a hiring pro.
The new issue of Colorado Homes & Lifestyles magazine hit stands this week and we are delighted to be included amongst the winning group of designers (interior designers, architects, and builders) in the ‘2018 Circle of Excellence’. Sharing this distinction with world-class talents like interior designers Barbara Glass Mollen and Angela Harris, custom Cabinet maker Mark Haynam, and architects Kyle Webb and Paul Mahony is a true honor.
This award got us us thinking at CCA, what inspires us to strive for such beauty in design? Below are top four inspirations we heard from our staff.
Our drive to make the world a better place.
Aspirations of our clients, executing a vision of theirs, so they can go out and make the world a better place.
Travel. Experiencing new cultures and things in a new way changes our DNA and inevitably changes our design.
Music and art. Art always inspires more art! These two always come up as points of inspiration.
Every so often a project grabs ahold of us and won’t let go. That’s what happened when we were commissioned to design an 11,800 square foot home on Wilson Mesa. Atop a windy bluff near Telluride, Colorado, the site–a historical ruin–was remote and uncompromising; a reminder of ancient times and the ultimate challenge to execute the future of design.
The homeowners wanted something that would stand up to the unusually harsh elements, while adhering to its storied past. To further the design intent we utilized the existing rubble, which was reminiscent of the ancient masonry structures of those who once inhabited the land, the Anasazi people. Additionally, we kept the stone outcrop, which had fractured off of the matrix of the sandstone, through numerous freeze-thaw cycles, building a virtual a fortress for its inhabitants.
Inside, glass was a natural complement to the onsite minerals and a necessary requisite for capturing the extraordinary views. Copper cladding, indigenous to the region, were a nod to technological advancements within the location and palette of the ancient stone. “The transition in the patina of the copper over time will allow a graceful aging process,” explains CCA Founder Charles Cunniffe, who loves to reminisce about this project.
We are proud of this unusual but striking abode. It’s ageless and timeless which is what we strive for with all of our buildings. To see more visit our website.
Last month, one of our favorite projects, Elk Peak Ranch, was named ‘Home of the Year’ by Mountain Living Magazine. The homeowners from Beverly Hills, CA, wanted a picturesque vacation retreat, but more, they wanted a family home that they could pass on to their children and grandchildren. The result was a stunning LEED Silver certified 15,000 sf home on a historic ranching property outside of Aspen.
At CCA, legacy homes–ones that can be passed on from generations of family–are vital to our clientele. We decided to come up with our own list of design tips to keeping a home efficient, so it can be enjoyed by generations to come.
Pick your site wisely. Work with an architect to design the home on the site that maximizes passive solar and ventilation.
Thoughtfully design a floor-plan that accommodates smaller and larger groups – since second homes are typically utilized differently throughout the year. Heat the spaces that are being utilized, vs. heating the whole house if only a portion is being enjoyed.
Create a low-maintenance exterior by selecting materials that can withstand the elements and require minimal yearly maintenance. At Elk Peak Ranch, one of the exterior materials used was Rysysta siding, which is a sustainable, composite siding material.
Reduce energy reliance and costs by integrating solar, geothermal and independent energy storage capabilities like batteries, generators, and fuel cells.
Consider drought-tolerant plantings with high efficiency and limited irrigation system, for reduced water usage.