CCA Wins Three Design Awards

We are proud to announce that three CCA projects were awarded with Gold Nugget Merit Awards. Selected by a panel of top industry experts who reviewed over 650 entries, we are proud that these three projects rose to the top! Thank you to our esteemed group of professionals who brought each project to fruition. We are incredibly proud and hope you are too.

“The Gold Nugget Award winners reflect our industry’s best, brightest, and most innovative architects, designers, and builder/developers,” notes Lisa Parrish, judging chairman and ceremonies administrator for the program. “The 2023 winners prove the beauty of design.”

Award winning aspen architect wins design award for Casa Cresta on Red Mountain in Aspen Colorado
Tour the Casa Cresta Project here

CCA award winning design of the Aspen City Hall in downtown Aspen Colorado
Tour Aspen City Hall here

Tour the Aspen City Hall here

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Summer with Perspective (Part 1)

As summer quickly moves in (finally!), we took a moment to reflect on a few different project types, focusing on the importance of capturing summer. Designing throughout the US and abroad, we often have the opportunity to work with all four seasons, and must look at each design through the lenses of winter, spring, summer and fall. So much changes from the depths of winter to the peak of summer, and an architect must consider the full pendulum when designing. The light angle and intensity varies, wind can be a factor in certain months, rain and thunderstorms can move in without a moment’s notice, and of course snow – and this year we thankfully had a ton here in Aspen! 

A few projects we look back on, to see how we captured either the outdoor views, utilized the landscape in interesting ways, worked the outdoors in, and designed to foster a true sense of connectivity in the way we live with nature. 

A glass bridge over a stream connects the Elk Peak bedroom wing, with the living area.
Stunning mountain vistas are captured through glass at Aspen Glam.
A perforated, curving steel wall reflects the nearby Roaring Fork river and provides privacy for the Aspen Police Department outdoor dining area.
Varying roof angles and material strength are perfectly executed in the Aspen Park private residence, with views towards the continental divide.
Inspired by the owner’s love of tropical vacations, Desert Oasis in Phoenix, AZ is it’s own private resort in the desert. Deep overhangs, a free-flowing pool with fire pits and multiple areas to lounge create the perfect escape.
A once dated & sunken living room was reimagined and refreshed. Pastoral and mountain views captured through floor to ceiling re-worked glazing at Owl Creek.
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Creating a Legacy Home

Recently, Charles and Rich were interviewed by Western Home Journal magazine, about what it takes to create a family’s legacy home. A home that is designed to house and entertain a family today, and last for multiple generations. From space planning, to durable materials and energy consumption, they dove deep into our process and methodologies.

In addition, the article highlights a few of our recent legacy homes and the variety of design details woven in. Our firm’s culture is touched on, as well as our “why”.

We hope you enjoy this article….click here

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A New Year!

Its a new year, and with each January we reflect on all our successes, challenges overcome, and look forward to all that is ahead of us. 2022 was an incredibly successful year, with much to celebrate! A few highlights:

  • Our Casa Cresta Project won the 2022 Mountain Living Magazine Home of the Year!
  • The Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Station 45 earned an AIA Colorado Award
  • Two of our projects earned Gold Nugget Awards: Whitefish, Ouray County Courthouse, with the Courthouse winning the Gold!
  • Our firm was named on OUTSIDE Magazine’s Best Places to Work for the 7th consecutive year
  • We welcomed three new team members: Alyssa Miller, Sara Schroeder and Courtney Nystrom
  • We were named one of Mountain Living’s Top Architects
  • We had work featured in the Wall Street Journal, Mountain Living, and Outside Magazine
  • We balanced in-office time and remote work, with the aim of allowing our team to work where it was most beneficial to our clients and each individuals’ needs
  • We moved projects from conceptual, to design development, into construction and finally completion. In each phase, we honed our craft, enriched new and old relationships, and explored new materials, technologies and methods

Looking forward, we have a pipeline of incredible projects in the residential, commercial, hospitality, public and pro-bono space. With room for a few more, we’ll be looking for that next new client. We look forward to sharing more of our work in the coming months and appreciate you following along! Happy 2023!

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We are immensely proud to announce that CCA’s Casa Cresta was named the 2022 Home of the Year, by Mountain Living magazine.

Tucked into a unique site on Aspen’s exclusive Red Mountain, Casa Cresta embraces spectacular mountain views, while championing a modern-urban aesthetic. Entertaining, indoor/outdoor living and modern art inspired the design for this family home with contemporary yet relaxed luxury – artfully blending materials and pattern. 

 “This magnificent home was designed for a couple’s lifestyle – from throwing their annual summer party with 100 friends from around the world – to spending time together in their own private serene retret as they admire the nonstop views,” says Mountain Living Editor in Chief Darla Worden. “Our judges were impressed at the thoughtful details that went into the home’s design – ample space for large parties but also as a family for the homeowners, their children and grandchildren.”

To read the story, click here.

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Its not every day that an architecture firm earns the privilege of designing a new City Hall building in very their own town. When CCA was awarded the project after the successful completion of the Aspen Facilities Master Plan and Aspen Police Department, we knew this would be an impactful, challenging and all-encompassing project. That it was. Most of all, it was a rewarding project and one we are very proud of.

A bit about the design:

The new Aspen City Hall is a lively urban ensemble, providing a new community resource and gathering place. The site was an existing and underutilized city asset, fronting a municipal parking lot and city-owned Rio Grande Park. The location allowed for an extension of the existing rooftop plaza to further connect the downtown core, to the parks and river beyond.

Aspen City Hall is organized around existing municipal and civic facilities, parks and plazas which are landscaped on a series of public spaces connecting the mountain to the south, with the river to the north. As an artificial extension of the hillside, the green roof of the new building acts as the connective tissue linking the mountain to the river, creating a natural greenway. Natural paths extend from the landscape to the roofscape, creating wayfinding for people to move around and through.

On the ground floor, the facades recede to expand the public realm, creating canopies to welcome visitors, collaborators, and community members. Each area of the building is tailored to its specific program, with the floor plans creating a lively and varied interior architecture.

The art-filled interior provides a biophilic environment that aims to enhance productivity and well-being. The surrounding parks, with ample green elements, provide visual relief and access to the natural environment.

Recently completed, the building was designed to achieve LEED Gold and WELL Building certificates, which are currently in progress.

Click here to see the project’s photo collection

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Annual Family Picnic

Each summer we gather the crew, their families (and dogs of course!), and enjoy a Friday afternoon eating, laughing, drinking, and playing lawn games. Its one of our favorite annual gatherings and one tradition of many, that we relish in. Seeing everyone’s families and spending time outdoors connects us in ways we never expect. So thankful to have this incredible group of professionals who are such strong design individuals – and just great people. How did we get so lucky?!

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Perfecting indoor/outdoor living in Montana

Throughout our 42+ years designing luxury homes and legacy estates, a great deal of focus is placed on indoor/outdoor living. Our team studies the outdoor environment just as intently as we focus on the indoor spaces. From hardcape design, lighting, kitchens, screening, technology…. every detail is carefully designed. We pay particular attention to how each owner lives, who and how they entertain, climactic implications to the site, view orientations, etc. etc. etc. To that, our team is careful to ensure the spaces feel as one – with the material palette carrying itself in & out.

Mountain Living magazine recently published our project, ‘Whitefish‘ featuring the outdoor living emphasis that this lakeside home has. We’re happy to share it with you today….


A Dynamic exterior balanced by undulating forms and varying rooflines. Glass, metal and horizontal cedar rain screen siding and locally sourced stone wraps the exterior in a contemporary interpretation. The stone wall transcends the exterior through to the interior, and houses two individually designed fireplaces. 

Entering the 11’ tall fir and steel pivot door flanked by glass, the view is focused and projected through the existing trees and out to the lake. A 28’ tall wall of windows promotes ample natural daylight.

The intentionally restrained interior palette allows the architecture, art and views to take center stage. Several regional artists and craftsmen contributed to the interiors. Just steps from the water, the patio adorns a built-in pizza oven, barbecue, wood-burning fireplace and integrated screening for privacy and shade. Tucked away are the hot tub and outdoor shower, which reside off the window-filled gym and sauna.

The great room’s doors open completely to an outdoor fire pit. Just inside, a wrap-around bar opens to the home’s game-viewing & movie theatre. The large picture window into the theatre was designed for indoor/outdoor viewing– making this another popular spot for game-time.

Thank you to Tate Interiors and Denman Construction for joining our team, to complete a truly magnificent lakeside property in Montana!

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Aspen Park featured in the Wall Street Journal (again!)

We were thrilled to see our Aspen Park project featured in the Wall Street Journal today! We’re excited to welcome the new-to-be owners!

On a high rocky mountainside high above Aspen, our team along with the owners and DG&A Interiors designed an environmentally sensitive, 15,000 sf, art-deco inspired contemporary home incorporating 36-species of wood. Lavish entertaining spaces, two glass elevators, a fully outfitted theatre and performance stage, the latest in home automation and HVAC systems, make this home truly unique.

The challenge began on day one, when the Florida-based owners charged our team to responsibly deconstruct much of the existing house, and design a home that fused art-deco and contemporary mountain-modern design. The site provided a very narrow building envelope which necessitated the 15,000 sf of living area, be split between three floors. To access each floor, two steel and glass elevators with cascading wood staircases were seamlessly worked into the design.

The exterior design pays homage to the surrounding mountain vistas, with varying roof angles, and use of stone and wood. Massive floor to ceiling windows capture the unique views of famed Independence Pass and Aspen Mountain.

A glass pivot door opens the home, as views unfold through a window wall and clerestory windows in the great room and dining. A Jean DeMerry mosaic mural sits between two automatic doors with views captured above, with a juxtaposed art-deco fireplace.

Custom designed wood-inlay doors are seen throughout the home, to further infuse the design inspiration. The team was careful to subtly instill the inspiration in parts of the home without overdoing it. As the home cascades down the mountainside, its essence permeates the site and creates a wonderful entertaining home.


Charles Cunniffe Architects | Architects

DG&A Interiors | Interior Design

Hansen Construction | Contractor

David O. Marlow | Photographer

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Art + Architecture

Our team was honored to design and construct the new Aspen City Hall, linking the Rio Grande Park to the civic and downtown core. An all-hands-on-deck dedication by all, and quite the labor of love. This week, we’re excited to see artist Koko Bayer, granddaughter of the beloved Herbert Bayer adding a mural, “In Search of Times Past” to the grand staircase.

Featured in the Aspen Times today, the mural adds to City Hall’s curated exhibition of local artists, in an effort to infuse art in public spaces. “The art on display not only adds to the discourse, but it also visually represents the openness and encouragement to having a multitude of voices and experiences in the governmental process, according to Sarah Roy, director of the Red Brick Center for the Arts,” the article states.

Koko Bayer installs her mural on the staircase beside the new Aspen City Hall building on Thursday, May 19, 2022. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Seeing the art installations in public spaces around Aspen, makes us love our little town even more! Thank you to the artists who are filling our town with color and creativity! It inspires us every day!

We look forward to sharing more photos of Aspen City Hall with you….until then…a sneak peak:

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