Respecting the environment has become a priority for a lot of architectural projects lately. Whether the structures are built from scratch or renovated, lots of projects pay great attention to the surroundings, trying to make the most of the location with as little impact as possible. One such example is La Muna, a rustic ski chalet located in Aspen, Colorado.
The chalet is one of the first homes that were built in the area. Recently it has been renovated by Oppenheim Architecture + Design. It was a complete transformation, the team’s main concern being to minimize the environmental impact on the surroundings.
The rustic chalet was transformed to suit a contemporary lifestyle without losing its original character and charm. The building is clad in reclaimed local wood, stone and steel, a simple combination which allows it to preserve some of its original attributes while also gaining a new look.
This combination of materials was also chosen because it allows the house to merge effortlessly with its surroundings and to share a strong connection with the forest and the mountains. The new design is also sustainable. Solar panels were installed in order to take care of the chalet’s energy requirements.
One of the clues suggesting that the renovation introduced a contemporary design is the presence of several huge insulated glass panels. They are operable and their role is to establish a strong connection between the interior and exterior spaces, linking the indoor and the outdoor in a simple and stylish manner.
The boundaries between the indoor and the outdoor become blurred thanks to the choice of glass panels. In addition, the rooms accommodating these elements get to receive abundant natural light. However, the interior is not particularly bright or open.
In fact, the décor is rather cozy and obscure. This is due to the chosen chromatic palette based on dark shades such as gray, dark brown and forest green. Once again, this is a detail designed to better connect the house to its surroundings.
Accent features such as the wood-burning fireplace or the wood-paneled walls are meant to add warmth to the décor, establishing a very comfortable and intimate ambiance. This feeling is further emphasized by the low ceilings, most obvious in the case of the kitchen.
Further more, the lighting was strategically designed to add drama to the décor and to emphasize certain key features while hiding others.
The magnificent views can be fully admired from the terraces. The glass balustrades allow them to be admired without interruptions and also have a very little impact on the overall design and architecture of the chalet.