Kicking off our 40th Anniversary in 2020, we thought we’d sit down and review our body of work and see if we could determine our favorite projects from each decade. Proud to say — it was no easy feat. After much discussion, here are our tops! Follow-us on Instagram to see more reflection on 40 years, and the amazing projects we’re currently designing. Forty years – we are so proud!
What a great way to usher in 2020: One of our favorite luxury publications, Robb Report, asked Charles for his top recommendations for jet setters visiting Aspen this winter. From the new infinity mirror installation by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusamas, to Cloud Nine Bistro after a day of skiing, to watching fireworks on the rooftop of the W Hotel, Charles had a handful of fun attractions that shouldn’t be missed.
Tomorrow is ‘Colorado Gives Day,’ a nationwide movement to encourage philanthropy through online giving. Throughout the year, CCA provides donations, sponsorships, and pro-bono services to countless non-profit organizations. Several years ago CCA started supporting charities in lieu of tangible client gifts, and we love seeing those donations at work. Here are just a few of the many non-profits we support, and how you can give this holiday season:
River Bridge Regional Center—Nationally accredited nonprofit child advocacy center, utilizing a child-centered, multidisciplinary approach to the prevention, assessment, treatment and investigation of child abuse. CCA supports River Bridge Regional Center annually and has also provided pro-bono design services for the center in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
Aspen Education Foundation—This foundation raises money for the schools of Aspen, and invests in the educational experiences including: Outdoor Education, Aeronautics, and Performing Arts.
Mountain Rescue Aspen One of the oldest of its kind, Mountain Rescue deploys search and rescue teams throughout the state. Our team also had the honor of designing their new facility in Aspen.
The Buddy Program—The Buddy Program matches local youth with adults for mentoring and supporting at risk youth with academics and self esteem. Several of our employees have also participated in the Buddy Program.
To read more about our philanthropic work, click here
Last month, Architectural Digest published a story on the high rates of burnout at architecture and interior design firms, as a result of the intense work environment. So when they asked CCA how we recognize and prevent burnout at our firm, we were happy to oblige.
It’s been a long tradition in Aspen, dating back to Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke’s arrival, to honor the “Mind, Body and Spirit.” Since CCA’s inception nearly 40-years ago, we have always centered our firm’s culture around balance. Within a robust benefits package geared towards overall wellness, we offer flex hours for weekly personal pursuits (whether it be attending a child’s game or volunteering, powder days, a lunchtime mountain bike ride, or hitting a bucket of balls at the driving range). To foster this connection to the outdoors and help our team avoid burnout, we also offer every employee a ‘wellness benefit’ they can utilize to buy a ski pass or pay for a gym or yoga membership. Inside our office we have stand-up desks, ergonomic chairs, and often meet away from our desks to encourage movement.
We encourage our team to come into the office (we offer 2 locations to reduce commuting time), do great work, and leave at a reasonable hour to rest and rejuvenate. The culture of ‘late nights and all-nighters’ is not within our office, and we’re all happy those college days are over. Instead we collaborate, charette, put our heads down, and design efficiently – for ourselves and our clients.
We are honored that Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Station 45 in Snowmass Village, Colorado earned the highest level of distinction by the Firehouse Magazine Station Design Awards, which recognizes outstanding architecture and design from fire departments nationwide. Winners were selected by a panel of seven judges, including a fire chief, a fire chief/architect, a fire engineer/architect and four architects specialized in fire station designs. To read more about the award and project, click here.
This fall we took our entire team away from our daily routines, and into the classroom to learn, have open discussions, get inspired, and forge our way into better project management. It was a big undertaking and something we all were excited to take part in. Something Charles has always believed in and encouraged, is advancement and growth. Whether it be new software, hardware and/or training, CCA stays abreast of changes in our industry and fosters continual growth.
The business of architecture is ever-changing and it was so worthwhile to gather as a team, open our minds to new and better ways of managing our projects, and discuss what will work within our firm’s specific culture. We’re always learning and appreciate the opportunity to better our work processes, and take that efficiency to our clients. Cheers to always growing and always learning!
Projects that benefit the local community are among our favorite project types, so we were incredibly proud to work with the Town of Snowmass Village and the dedicated fire fighters and first responders, to design the new state-of-the-art Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Station 45. The new 30,000 sf two-story facility facility provides for the needs of the Fire Department, as well as providing for public interaction, with 7 new apparatus bays, 8 on-duty crew quarters, 6 resident firefighter apartments, administrative offices, a training/community room, numerous specialized support spaces, and a state of the art training tower.
The building utilizes low sloping roofs, allowing a lower building height and horizontal visual appearance, that respects the neighborhood context. Large glazed openings further natural light and views, and have generous overhangs which provide weather and sun protection. The overall massing is articulated by building elements with varying heights and materials, which break down the scale of the large building visually and provides an attractive contemporary appearance. The material palette includes a complimentary combination of natural hues and low maintenance materials of stone, metal and composite panel siding, metal fascias and wood timber columns, which compliments the architectural context of Snowmass Village, and provides a fitting image for this important new public facility.
“The men and women who serve this department and our town risk their lives to protect the people and land,” says Charles Cunniffe. “We wanted to build the best possible structure with the best design solutions/spaces for them to train, work, and relax in.
Congratulations to our incredible team for earning an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Colorado ‘Award of Excellence’ for the St Mary Catholic Church historic renovation. CCA teamed up with an outstanding group of expert designers, engineers, artisans, builders, and craftsman who worked with us to transform one of Aspen’s most iconic structures. A big ‘thank you’ also to the St Marys parrish for entrusting us with this project!
In addition to this incredible honor, our Virginia Placer affordable housing project also won an American Institute of Architects Colorado ‘Award of Distinction’. Designing affordable housing is a passion of ours, as housing in our beautiful yet remote mountain towns, is increasingly expensive. By utilizing clever design strategies, durable materials, maximizing passive solar and ventilation and focusing on livability and wellness, our affordable housing projects are some of our most rewarding work. Thank you to the Town of Telluride – it has been great partnering with you on this important work!
In this month’s issue of Luxe, the magazine asked Charles for his top three Colorado buildings (besides his own) that meet the CCA standard of excellence for sustainability and legacy.
His selects? The Aspen Chapel, Aspen Meadows Resort, and Colorado State Capitol Building. What’s the common thread? “Clients who are interested in sustainability and legacy in terms of building something properly the first time,” Cunniffe says. “A lot of projects look great in photographs, but the difference is in the details – the way the light comes through, the connection to the outdoors, and the spirit of place a building evokes when you’re actually in it. Any project that brings those things into play is what we gravitate to.”
To read the article, get your issue on stands now.
One of our favorite non-profits in the Roaring Fork Valley is the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES). When Nick came to us and said he was designing a Pollinator for Rock Bottom Ranch, we were so elated. Nick’s work dovetails the additional projects we’ve been lucky enough to be involved in, notably the ACES Treehouse. Check out Nick’s incredible work!
“I’ve been so fortunate enough to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies throughout the years. Function + Form were instinctively intertwined in this unique project to provide habitat for native bees and other pollinators. This structure will find its permanent home in the children’s garden at ACES @ Rock Bottom Ranch to support their regenerative agricultural education program.“