PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: Virginia Placer Housing

“It’s important to give back to the community that I’ve gotten so much from over the past 40 years. It makes us better people– and it makes us a better firm,” stated Charles in a recent interview with Modlar. This has been a guiding ethos for our firm, led by Charles himself. It was also the impetus for our newly constructed affordable housing project in Telluride, Colorado.

Called Virginia Placer, the project is a combination of communal living, tiny homes and apartment units; designed for Telluride’s residents who are the backbone and soul of this often unaffordable ski 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. The design team balanced budget, sustainability and livability by incorporating passive solar and ventilation, ample storage, large windows, and durable and maintenance-free materials.

While we love designing luxury homes, we also find it rewarding to give back to our community by designing community-based projects. “If you have the ability to have a positive effect on your community, I think you have an obligation to do it,” says Charles.

This entry was posted in Featured, Planning, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Snowmass Fire Station Ribbon Cutting

Last week’s Snowmass Fire Station ribbon cutting, was what architects’ dreams are made of.

“Everything was thought through. The thought and planning are phenomenal. You can tell the detail Charles (Cunniffe Architects) went through. And they came in ahead of time and on budget – what can you say about that?” stated Snowmass mayor, Markey Butler.

Too see over 150 residents touring the completed station made us all appreciate our profession and how great it is to work in our community. Thank you Town of Snowmass Village for the great opportunity to work with you all! To learn more, click here.

This entry was posted in Featured, Industry News, Planning and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

CCA’s Charles Cunniffe Talks Sustainable High Tech Mountain Homes with AD.COM


We are always honored to be featured in the press, so when Architectural Digest wanted to discuss the modern mountain home, Charles was thrilled to discuss the topic. To that, we’re so proud that AD selected to feature Elk Peak Ranch and Aspen Park – two projects recently completed by our team.

Whether it be more open floor plans and maximizing views or  incorporating sustainable and high tech gadgetry, we loved being a part of this in depth discussion with one of the leading architecture and design magazines. “Cunniffe’s ability to infuse his projects with such a consistent feel comes, no doubt, courtesy of his deep familiarity with the vernacular styles in the areas where he works” stated Architectural Digest writer Hadley Keller.

Read the entire article, here.

This entry was posted in Featured, Industry News, Planning and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

CCA’s Affordable Housing Project in Telluride Featured in Curbed

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.

Read the entire article, here.


This entry was posted in Featured, Industry News, Planning and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Project Spotlight: Frazier Homestead

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.


This entry was posted in Featured, Industry News, Planning and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Top 5 Attributes to Design Your Sustainable Legacy Home

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.

  1. Pick your site wisely. Work with an architect to design the home on the site that maximizes passive solar and ventilation.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Reduce energy reliance and costs by integrating solar, geothermal and independent energy storage capabilities like batteries, generators, and fuel cells.
  5. Consider drought-tolerant plantings with high efficiency and limited irrigation system, for reduced water usage.


This entry was posted in Featured, Industry News, Planning and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

CCA Named on “Best Places to Work” in the US

For the fourth year in a row, CCA was named one of a hundred “Best Places to Work in theUS” by Outside magazine. We are excited, of course, and honored to be named alongside a diverse group of companies like Young & Laramore (Indianapolis), GeoEX (San Francisco), and Bluetent (Carbondale, CO), who make a healthy office culture a point of pride.

Open to any business based in the US with over 15 permanent employees, this yearly contest is held in the spring and announced in the November issue. What exactly goes into determining winners? Entries are judged based on company policies, practices, benefits and demographics. In light of this distinction, our Marketing Director, Rebecca Richardson, asked some of our colleagues what makes the office culture special at CCA, beyond the ‘Friday Tech Talks’? Here’s what she got:




“Design comes first, always. With today’s competitive architectural market, good design sometimes gets pushed aside. Budget, schedules and local codes can often limit the design process. CCA emphasizes good design as integral and consistent from beginning to end, which is evidenced in our projects.” Jim Kehoe, Senior Project Architect


“Some companies tout being family-friendly, but CCA really emphasizes the importance of family time as well as time to achieve personal pursuits. CCA fully understands the value if a well-rounded and well-educated employee. I am given the ability to attend my child’s school performances as well as pursue my passion for history and art, all of which make for a better architect at the end of the day. We are all encouraged to prioritize our families and our individual interests, intellectual or out-of-doors.” Marina Skiles, Senior Project Architect


“Between composting, recycling, having a company Subaru and town bike, free bus passes, using recycled paper and soy-based inks, offering stand-up desks, healthy breakfasts, and refreshments, CCA doesn’t just talk-the-talk. As an industry, the architectural profession is very paper dependent, but CCA does its best to have an environmentally responsible and healthy office.” Toni Bradford, Executive Manager






Learn more about

This entry was posted in Featured, Planning, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Architecture & Neuroscience

Recently, our Senior Project Architect/Design Leader Jim Kehoe sat down with Modern Luxury to discuss the study of architecture and neuroscience. Jim is truly passionate about the subject and educates our team on the findings presented in the many conferences he attends each year. Designing structures which bring calm, improve cognitive function, lower blood pressure and improve memory is a win-win. This concept is something we’ve been using for quite some time, and learning the science behind it, has been inspiring and greatly impactful.


This entry was posted in Featured, Industry News, Planning and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Project Spotlight – Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District

After designing Mountain Rescue Aspen’s new facility, our team has been commissioned by the Snowmass-Wildcat Protection District to design a much-needed new station in Snowmass, Colorado. Working with the team at Snowmass Fire has been nothing short of impressive. The dedicated crew and design team have worked synergistically to design a building that respects the taxpayer dollar, is built to stand the test of time, and allow future growth.

This week, the 46-year old fire house was deconstructed on Owl Creek Road in Snowmass Village, Colorado. The original structure, built in 1971 and designed by famed local architect and former 10th Mountain Division soldier, Fritz Benedict. Last November, district voters approved a $17 million bond to fund the new station, which will span approximately 26,000 sf and be constructed of stone, timber and wood siding. We are humbled and proud to the Architect selected to design the new facility and look forward to sharing it with you.

Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District

This entry was posted in Featured, Industry News, On the Boards, Planning. Bookmark the permalink.

Project Spotlight – Independence Retreat

Just in case you missed this award winning project…a look back at an Aspen retreat we designed for one amazing California family. Formerly a parking lot, the circular building site is shared with an adjacent home and guest house. In order to effectively fit the three structures, great thought was given to the positioning of the homes to maximize views, solar orientation, passive ventilation and afford them their desired privacy.

Clear Douglas Fir Beams integrated with steel gussets and knife plates are suspended from the vertical grain Cedar ceiling. Steel paneled interior columns with custom designed steel screws are seen throughout the home.

Continuing the warm yet contemporary feel, architectural grade stained concrete, glass, steel, efficient appliances, and passive solar and ventilation lend to the Owner’s program: providing generous entertaining spaces, comfortable guest suites, a contemporary mountain feel which speaks to its greater surroundings and respects the environment we live in. This home has won three prestigious architecture awards for design.

How do you like it?

This entry was posted in Featured, Planning, Posts about Spaces and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.