Aspen Centennial

Material Information

Aspen Centennial
Liddle, Christoper Cain
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
2 volumes : color photographs, folded plans ; 28 cm


Subjects / Keywords:
Cluster housing -- Designs and plans -- Colorado -- Aspen ( lcsh )
Architecture, Domestic -- Designs and plans -- Colorado -- Aspen ( lcsh )
Architecture, Domestic ( fast )
Cluster housing ( fast )
Colorado -- Aspen ( fast )
Designs and plans. ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Designs and plans ( fast )


Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Architecture, College of Design and Planning.
Statement of Responsibility:
[Christoper Cain Liddle].

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
11968234 ( OCLC )
LD1190.A72 1984 .L53 ( lcc )

Full Text
environmental design AURARIA LIBRARY


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And being one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far asl could To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair And having perhaps the better claim, because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black Oh, I kept the first for another dayl Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in awood, andl-I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

In recent years, high density trailer parks and condominiums have made an unprecedented march across the alpine landscape. These insensitive projects have decimated delicate mountain ecosystems, and ignored the dignity of the individual occupants, and the requirements of the harsh climate in which they live. Remaining is an aesthetic disaster, and functional nightmare; in the name of fiscal expediency, which has plundered our pockets, and our spirits. People are deprived of both their individuality and a sense of community by faceless architecture which scars the landscape with its uncomfortable presense.
This project deals with the challenge of creating, delightful responsive living environments in a location which is environmentally and socially sensitive. Situated between mountain and valley, wilderness and city, the site offers unique opportunities to deal with the interface of nature and humankind. The harsh climate and rugged landscape, call for an integrated approach to architecture, landscape, urban design, structure, and climactic response. The project would create a new neighborhood in harmony with nature and the city alike, which recognizes the unique history and spirit of the community, and provides a literal and metaphorical pathway towards the future of the region.
I intend to use my thesis as a vehicle to demonstrate how we can live in communities, where an integral fabric is developed which reinforces a neighborhood identity, minimizes environmental impact, while using appropriate technology to conserve resources, improve comfort, and reduce the burden of services, placed upon the community and the infrastructure of our society.
Location: Aspen, Colorado Building type: Housing
Scale of project:180 living units, plus retail Project: 170,000 plus service allowance Client: Pitkin County Architect: Moshe Safdie
Local Architects: Jacobs and Ball, Aspen Project Name: Centennial

In developing my thesis I hope to respond strongly to a set of societal problems, creating inspired solutions which show architecture to be taking a leadership role in guiding culture. Architects should be aggressively creative innovators, and initiators whose ideas move society, and whose ability as holistic thinkers, thoughtful communicators, and sensitive artists,who inspire the world around them towards appropriate collective thought and action.
As the world moves into a new millenium in our lifetime there remain unsolved problems which have been "minted freshly" in our age. the challenge for my generation is to ferret out those problems which will most greatly affect our well being and seek their resolution in our time. There are a set of problems, and hence, accompanying opportunities which I feel this age must squarely face. This set set of problems stems from a triage process between mankind,technology,and the environment which is constantly in progress. I believe that the pressures of our age have led us to make a series of compromise decisions based on perceived hierarchies of importance which have brought one or more of these three areas into conflict with the others. This Triage process has continued unabated until grave conflicts have occured in the mankind/environment/technology continuum.
Due to the gargantuan scope of this set of problems I will attempt only to briefly outline the arena of conflict before presenting the direction in which I feel the solutions may be found. I believe there issues of global environmental cocern which are products of a worldwide view of resource use and management. I will discuss the possibilities of dramatically reducing global resource consumption, and mitigating widespread

environmental pollution problems through the encouragement of regional efforts towards greater local self sufficiency. My thesis project, a small housing community, will be used as a vehicle to demonstrate how collective, holistic thought and action can solve widespread problems by attacking concerns at the local level. Design becomes the dynamic mediator of the community, creating spaces and places linked together by peoples lives, their interaction forming a spirited entity, greater than the sum of its parts. The physical entity of the builing embodies the collective will to create a healthy society which coexists harmoniously with the natural environment.
Well into the industrial revolution, we have embraced the rapid rise of new technologies and used them as the mediator between mankind and the natural environment, creating entirely new man made environments which increase the comfort and convenience of their occupants while relying heavily on the technology which supports this lifestyle.In addition, life in an environment which is completely independent of the vagaries of nature, must perforce rely to some degree on the exploitation of the resources of that environment for its survival. As our dependence on man-made, comfort controlled environments has increased, so has the exploitation of natural resources upon which this system is now fueled. The use of natural resources has increased exponentialy until we have reached the critical threshold of natural systems, previously thought to be boundless. We are approaching the carrying capacity of the land and upsetting delicate natural balances which are already threatening the well being of mankind. The works of Mankind have spread across the earth at a previously unimaginable rate, until hardly a parcel of land remains which is untrammled by mankind. So it is that we have inadvertently taken on a stewardship of global environmental balance until we hold the destiny of all living things in our grasp.
The environmental legacy of the industrial revolution includes many areas of grave international concern. Forests have become tree-farms,free-flowing rivers, are now linear flatwater lakes punctuated by dams, and the oceans both fish farms and sewage dumps. Water pollution is so widespread that fisheries have been depleted around the world, most large rivers have become industrial sewers, nearly devoid of life. Even underground rreserves of water have been contaminated by leaks from toxic waste dumps, leaching from mine sites, and other chemical spills and disposal methods. Atmospheric pollution has been detected in every portion of the globe, and has produced acid rain the strength of vinegar even in remote mountain regions, and of sufficient magnitude to disease and destroy vast

areas of Germany's Black Forest. So significant is atmospheric pollution that astronauts in space have been able to identify only two man made features on the earth from that distance: The Great wall of China and the Smog Cloud from the four corners power station in the Western United States. These are only a few examples of the types of environmental problems we face in our age, yet they may serve to raise some fundamental questions and cause us to re evaluate the manner in which we will proceed with future development in an age when all resources are clearly perceived within a finite natural system with definite limits, having changed drastically from the cornucopia approach which governed our resource use during most of the industrial age.
Many of these alarming environmental and resource use trends have been identified and corrective measures have begun to be taken to repair the damages caused by past practices. Public awareness of environmental and health concerns has swelled, and people have taken a serious interest in cleaning up toxic waste dumps and rivers, Agriculture and Forestry, are moving towards more diversity in crops, and reduced use of chemical fertilizers and pest control to reduce water pollution. Architecture is moving towards more efficient use of land, materials and energy,as well as smaller, more efficiently designed spaces. Most of the technologies necessary to live in an environmentally clean and energy efficient society are already available and in most cases cost effective, awaiting implementation, by communities and individuals, most of the problems I have outlined have ready solutions but need the cooperation of diverse and disparate groups. Perhaps we can begin to tackle these global problems on acommunity level, first cleaning our own nest, solving local problems, and looking forward with awakened vision. Community by community a concensus could be built to act locally, and to think globally, taking into account the complete ramifications of local actions, knowing that collective action eventually has aprofound effect on a greater sphere of influence. If each community were to assess, carefully its vital needs such as transportation, housing, commerce, education, health care, food and water supply, and re-creation, and work towards self sufficiency in each of these areas,the burden of services placed on the regional infa-structure would be greatly reduced.Towns could take care of more of their own needs, and would be more secure and stable, buffered from outside market fluctuations, and better able to direct their energy towards other important local concerns. Revenue saved though energy and resource conservation measures, could be invested in other community needs such as day care, civic and cultural events or public safety, progressively solving each new problem, in the evolution towards greater local control and stability.

In building towards the future towns should take into account the burdens that will be placed upon the community as a whole by each new development, and ensure that each project account for these associated costs. New projects should conform to the highest standards to which the community could hope to aspire as a whole. A large project can become a micro-cosm of the town itself reflecting all we have learned to date, and inspiring us to look towards the future with hope and anticipation.
The Aspen Centennial project provides unique opportunities for the exploration of these pressing architectural issues of ourtime. Located near downtown, the project is inextricably bound with the urban design issues of the Aspen community. In addition any development of the area must contend with the reclamation of the mine land which underlies the site. Aspen is a visionary community which has shown admirable foresight in outling what it hopes to be an exemplary public housing community. Pitkin County has requested the use of innovative site planning techniques and careful stewardship of natural resources. In addition they ask that the architectural design should foster a strong sense of neighborhood and become the nucleus of a permanent housing community in the Smuggler mountain area. At the same time the design should preserve the valuable asset of privacy by establishing a clearly defined hierarchy between public and private space. Sensitive, integrated landscape design can enhance privacy and views within the complex, while minimizing conflicts with adjacent land uses and preserving distant vistas to Smuggler mountain from the town and the ski slopes. Affordability is a primary concern, although, the town is experienced with housing projects, and is interested in high quality construction, with low maintenance costs and favorable life cycle costing.For this reason strong energy conservation measures, and passive solar design provide an appropriate response to long term energy needs and costs in this severe mountain climate. Linking the project with pedestrian and bicycle paths, as well as existing public transportation also saves energy and reduces neighborhood traffic problems while providing a welcome transportation alternative in snowy winter months. An interdisciplinary approach which weaves together these needs and aspirations together into an integrated whole is clearly called for. The project provides opportunities to embrace the values and the history the community while using available ideas and technology to look towards the future in meeting the long term needs of the Aspen community.
Architects can play an instrumental role in orchestrating the movement towards an integrated holistic approach to design. Through this approach, communities can evolve towards greater

independence and self sufficiency until a state of environmental, fiscal and social sustainability is reached, and forces of radical change begin to stabilize. This balanced state of affairs is one which can only be brought about through interdisciplinary coordination and visionary leadership. Aspen is such a community, possessing the ability, the spirit of cooperation and the foresight to implement effective local and regional planning policies.

I intend to use my thesis project to demonstrate how we can live in communities, where an integral fabric is developed which minimizes negative environmental impacts, creates a strong sense of identity, while using appropriate technology to conserve resources,improve comfort, and reduce the burden of services placed on the town and the infrastructure of our society.
The ramifications of building in this manner on a widespread basis would be significant:
Revitalize City Centers
Reduce Transportation Needs
Increase Productive Land Use
Minimize Environmental Impacts
Reduce Energy Needs
Create More Viable Communities
Reduce Consumption of Natural Resources

The scope of the project will be divided into three major categories, each dealing with a higher level of detail in design and synthesis of environmental systems.
Phase #1 ENTIRE 200 UNITS Site Plan Only
This phase of the project will show the solution of issues related to the land. The site planning will show how the entire project fits onto the landscape. In aqddition it will demonstrate the relationship to the natural wilderness setting, the nearby minesite, the town, and community issues.
Phase #2 FIRST 100 UNITS
Cluster Drawings and site model
This phase demonstrates the internal order of the housing community and shows specific relationships which concern the complex itself i.e. pedestrian and auto circulation community facilities, public open space,etc. In short how does the infrastructure of the community work ?
Phase #3 SAMPLE 10 UNITS
Detailed Drawings and Model
The sample 10 units will reveal the detailed inner workings of the individual unit clusters. The relationships within the specific units, aesthetic and technical characteristics, energy performance, use of materials, lighting etc.

The scope of the project will be divided into three major categories, each dealing with a higher level of detail in design and synthesis of environmental systems.
Phase #1 ENTIRE 200 UNITS Site Plan Only
This phase of the project will show the solution of issues related to the land. The site planning will show how the entire project fits onto the landscape. In aqddition it will demonstrate the relationship to the natural wilderness setting, the nearby minesite, the town, and community issues.
Phase #2 FIRST 100 UNITS
Cluster Drawings and site model
This phase demonstrates the internal order of the housing community and shows specific relationships which concern the complex itself i.e. pedestrian and auto circulation community facilities, public open space,etc. In short how does the infrastructure of the community work ?
Phase #3 SAMPLE 10 UNITS
Detailed Drawings and Model
The sample 10 units will reveal the detailed inner workings of the individual unit clusters. The relationships within the specific units, aesthetic and technical characteristics, energy performance, use of materials, lighting etc.

What is the current position with regard to the aesthetic demands placed by town planning? There has been a frightening move towards uniformity, brought about by the machine age. The religious faith in the wonders brought about by technology has markedly declined in recent years. Environmental pollution has contributed towards this decline. Can regions be helped to identify with their urban culture through the art of architecture as Sitte envisaged it?
Rob Krier Urban Space

A primary concern in the development of this project will be to provide adequate housing density to ensure economic viability, while maintaining individual privacy and preserving natural views both to and from the site. Both privacy and community should be encouraged through the development of a clear hierarchy of space from public to private, beginning with active, social, public areas, progresssing through more controlled semi-public spaces, to quiet intimate and personal dwelling places, that people will call home.
In order to create an economically viable project for the client, Pitkin County, and to meet the current and projected housing needs for the Aspen community 200 dwelling units will need to be provided on the approximatwe ly 16 acres of the building site.In addition, all parking requirements (350 cars), access roads, pedesrian pathways,recreation areas and open space as well ancillary functions, must be provided within the site boundaries.
Dwelling Units will be a mixture of lower cost employee housing, and moderate cost housing to be sold on the free market. Sale of free market units will aid in the overall financing of the development andallow for higher quality site planning, landscape, and craftsmanship in the entire project area. A housing mix of 50/50 between employee and free market units will satisfy the above requirement, as well as allowing the highest quality construction. The county has provided flexibility to the developer, but would prefer to strike a balance which would allow the project to be soundly financed, yet provide the minimum number of sales and the maximum number of rental units on the site, and to maintain them as such for the longest period of time.
The project master plan calls for a rental /sales mix of at least 50/50 and I will explore the possibility, of creating a mix which favors a larger number of moderately priced rentals.The community will be developed using a so called Robin Hood concept in which the sale of free market units will help to finance the construction of moderately priced employee rentals.The county is interested in a total comprehensive proposal which solves all financing, management, construction, and on and off site development problems. In addition to providing full design services. For this reason it is incumbent upon the architect toco-perate closely with the developer in orchestrating matters which concern cost control in order to facilitate a creative financing solution which takes advantage

of all available, premiums, tax advantage, and loan benefits. Financing proposals should also take advantage of the demonstrable life cycle costing benefits which incrue from building energy efficient structures, and careful design which minimizes future maintenance, repair, and operating costs.
The housing provided should be a mix of studio, one, two, and three bedroom apartments ranging in size from 400-1300Sq.Ft. The overall project square footage should not exceed 170,00Sq.Ft. plus reasonable allowances for circulation, and community areas, as well as the development of a small commercial /retail center.
An adequate number of units with easy handicap access and related special features must be included in the design.
Project with 100% Rental Units Project Rental with Rental owner Ownership
STUDIO 30% 30% 30%
1 BEDROOM 30% 30% 40%
2 BEDROOM 30% 30% 20%
3 BEDROOM 10% 10% 10%
100% 100% 100%

400-600 Sq.Ft. 500-800 Sq. Ft. 700-1,000 Sq.Ft. 900-1,300 Sq. Ft.
MIDDLE 29,400
$58/Sq.Ft. $55/Sq.Ft.
MODERATE $72/Sq.Ft. $65/Sq.Ft.

Our intellect has created a new world that dominates nature, and has populated it with monstrous machines.
C.G. Jung
Man and His Symbols

Adequate facilities should be provided for the easy movement and storage of 350 cars at 1.75 spaces per unit. Covered or enclosed parking spaces with access to electrical outlets Tto plug in engine heaters) should be provided to the greatest extent which proves economically feasable. Access roads and drives should take into account the harsh winter c1imate and heavy snowfal1 in all aspects of design. All driving areas should allow for snow removal equipment and snow storage. Driving areas should be planned to create a minimum of driving hazard in slick and icy conditions. Excessive road grades should be avoided at all costs. The impact of roads and vehicle storage should be kept to an absolute minimum on the site. Other means of transpotation should be encouaged to minimize use of vehicles around the site and in the neighborhood.
Local public transportation provides a viable alternative to to driving for many Aspen residents. The convenience and low cost rof the local bus systems, and the proximity to town will allow many residents to travel to and from work without using their cars. In addition some area emp1oyers provide a free commmuter bus service to and from work to ensure that employees can get to and from work in difficult winter weather conditions. The great number of people living in the project area and the proximity of existing bus routes should make an additional public bus stop in the project area highly feasible. A heated waiting area should be provided for this purpose.

A. Pedestrian circulation and trail systems
B. Parcel access points
C. Circulation within project
D. Emergency vehicle access
E. Service vehicle access
F. Transportationvehicle access
G. Parking at 1.75 spaces /unit
H. Signage for road safety
I. Grading not to exceed 3:1
A. Acceptable building height in stories and feet B Shading of adjacent property
C. Height ,length and width of building elevations
D. Separation between buildings
E. Visual impact on adjacent properties.
A. Exterior materials
B. Roof materials and slope
C. Roof drainage and snow holding characteristics D Roof system for cold weather conditions.
A. Drainage control
B. Retention Ponds
C. Water Quality
D. Arid plant materials
E. Irrigation system
F. Sheltering and shading of buildings

"Can we believing in the effectiveness of power see the disproportionately greater effect of abstaining from its use?"
Ivan Illich

Close proximity to town and pleasant weather most of the year, make walking to and from town an enjoyable alternative for many hearty residents. In summer, spring, and fall when traffic flows are sma11 and roads are clear of snow and ice bicycling becomes another pleasant option. Existing roads and side walks provide adeguate access to town for pedestrians and bi eye 1es, but separate pathways should be provided for them within the site. In addition these pathways shou1d connect with existing local Pathway systems. These paths will double as cross-country skiing trai1 sin wintermonths.
A. Amenities are limited to office faciities, a country store, post office, gas pump, laundry facilities, management office, daycare, storage space, open space trails,and limited recreation areas.
B. Commercia 1 spaces w_i l^JL be deve 1 oped on a very limited basis and developed only to the schematic level
C. On site management: An on-site office with post office facilities, sha11 be incorporated into the plan for the project. The management office shou1d facilitate the maintenance and storage facilities as we 11 as overseeing, snow removal, trash col lection, site deliveries, landscape maintenance and building repair.
D. Laundry facilities shou1d be provided at a minimum of one washer and dryer for each ten units.
E. Storage; An absolute minimum of 25 Sq.Ft. of exterior storage for each unit in the complex.
F. P1 ay area: It is estimated that between 50 and 60 children will reside in the complex. Achilderens play facility should be planned with a_ minimum of 6,500 Sq.Ft.

1. Provide safe decent affordable housing in a variety of types
and styles
2. Encourage the concept of neighborhood and community
3. Minimize conflicts with adjacent land uses
4. Encourage land use patterns that reduce dependence upon automobiles and promote alternate modes of transportation such as mass transit, bicyc1ing and waIking
5. Preserve environmentally sensitive areas, and prohibit development from occurring in hazardous or scenic areas that are unsuitable for development
l.The Smuggler Area should provide a hetergenous mixture of long term housing opportunities to meet the reguirements of new persons with varied ages incomes and lifestyles
2 .New residential developments in the Smuggler Area j>hou .1 d be for 1 ong-term housing. Residentia 1 development oriented towards short term accomodations should be precluded in the area.

3.A balanced mix of residential land use densities should
be encouraged.
4.Innovative site planning technigues should be employed to insure creative design, high quality development, and increased beneficial land use.

The sublime beauty of the Colorado mountains has been a source of inspiration for people from every corner of the earth. Beginning in the west, in the sculptured canyonlands of the Anasazi, and in the east the great plains, the land sweeps upward, colliding at the jagged zenith of the continental divide. These rocky ridges thus, formed link from peak to precipice forming the backbone of the region. The rocky tendrils which terminate from these mountain chains, and the rugged orrganisms which cling to them become the nexus which connects all parts of Colorado together, and yet ironically they also form the walls which divide it into parts. These ridges unite to form ravines where rushing mountain streams join to carve valleys, soft protected places for people to live.
Aspen is located at the head of one such valley where the waters of Castle Creek, and Maroon Creek meet the Roaring Fork, and plunge toward the Colorado river. Surrounded on three sides by wilderness Aspen has only two roads which link it with the outside world, one of which closes from October to June, placing the town in relative isolation during winter months, chains of mountains surround the town like walls, stretching along the Roaring Fork river they give clear definition to the region. This unique setting gives the town a unique feel which cannot be adequately described by words or pictures. Perched in isolation high in the, Valley much of the town has commmanding views of the magnificent peaks which surround it. The top of Aspen Mountain offers sweeping panoramas of incomparable beauty. In essence the area is nothing short of magical. From on high one can see from delicate tundra which clings to the mountaintops, to the tree blanketed slopes of the valley below. The entire order of the mountains is revealed here, one can see the network of ridges and streams, the patterns of vegetation the subtle intricacies of an ecosystem which exists in a few scant inches of soil, clinging to the mountainsides. Battered by winds, swept by avalanches, assailed by rockfal1, cold, and snow the flora and fauna which inhabit this region are marvels of adaptation. Yet somehow the human creatures which live nearby pay little attention to the way in which they inhabit the landscape.Their houses do not adapt to the climate, nor the trees embrace their homes for protection, rather the land seems to be blighted in the presence of humans. This leads one to ask how we might live in greater harmony with the Alpine Ecosystem and rest our buildings more comfortably on the landscape, so that nature flourishes in the presence of mankind, and people flourish in

the presence of untrammeled nature. Much as mountain fauna and flora adapt themselves to this often harsh ecosystem, so too should residents live in buildings which are appropriately adapted to the climate in which they reside. Mountain creatures make their houses on sunny south slopes in the protection of trees,often burrowing into the hill and living in groups for mutual protection from the elements, stategies which may well make sense for humans to employ in their habitats. Responsive landscape design integrated into the architectural planning of the project can greatly increase the comfort and well being of the inhabitants while mitigating the negative impacts of site development.
The Centennial project lies in an area which will greatly reward the the sensative development of the landscape. Positioned on the sunny south shoulder of smuggler mountain, vast panoramas open up:The Sawatch range to the east, to the south the town and the ski area, and to the west spectacular views down the roaring fork valley where the elk range culminates at Mount Sopris. Orientation to these sunny southerly views makes intrinsic sense in this cold climate, and works well with passive solar design strategies. Westerly views and slopes suggest view windows and shading strategies, while on the north, earth berming and vegetation can protect from cold notherly winds and downdrafts, allowing cold air to sink into the hollows of the roaring fork drainage below, the northeast is shaded by smuggler mountain on winter mornings and views to the unre-claimed minesites of Aspens past are currently undesir able but the project could be instrumental in improving this situation, through the development of a park on these unbuildable lands, thus re-claiming the land as public open space, and acting as a visual and climactic buffer to the northeast.
Whatever decision is made concerning the future development of these lands it is sure to profoundly affect the character of the surrounding housing community which is to be intensively developed in the near future. This will be a crux area in the shaping of the outdoor areas as landscape elements will weave together various site activities. Existing trees bound the site Con three sides, and act as visual and climactic buffers. Additional vegetation will aid in defining outdoor living circulation and recreation areas, as well as stabilizing soils expressing natural and artificial water elements and drainage patterns where trees would normally grow in the mountains. Use of indiginous plant materials and building materials, can help the community to blend into the landscape as well as fostering a connection with the regions rich cultural and natural history, astrong interdisciplinary approach will address diverse areas of concern, providing affordable housing opportunities for people diverse ages incomes and lifestyles.

Landscaping in this rugged mountain context encompasses a vast array of complex and often competing forces which will undoubtably affect any developement on the site. In this particular site the mining and subsequent regrowth of the site is inextricably bound to all conditions relating to building development roads and pathways, pub lie and private open space, plant materials, soil conditions, site drainage, and even human safety issues are related to the vast network of tunnels, mine-shafts, and tailings dumps which underlay today's landforms. Particular attention must be paid tor surface and subsurface mineshafts which reach depths of up to 1500 feet on the property. For this reason, nine acres of the original building site has been removed from consideration for immediate development as it is considered to be hazardously undermined by previous mine activity, which make this area either unstable unsafe, or economically infeasible for building at the present time. This undermined area is under consideration for development by the county as a park or open space area adjacent to the proposed employee housing district.Extensive underground mapping and surface excavation would be necessary to stabilize the site even for use as a park. Tailings could be hauled off and recycled for their ore content and properly disposed of on a more appropriate site, probably on a cost effective basis. Perhaps government environmental protection and mineland reclamation authorities could be called upon for assistance in stabilizing the health hazards resulting from this mining activity which began more than 100 years ago. Certainly the development of this site would be of great benefit to the Aspen community, and particularly to the residents of nearby housing areas where open space has been and will continue to be reduced by the development of this and other projects in the neighborhood. Further more this open space area could serve as a buffer space between residential districts and a mining company which is still in operation ups lope and to the east and northeast of the project neighborhood. Thus the proposed open space area could alleviate safety and environmental concerns as the town expands into this area, as well providing recreational opportunities and buffering the nearby minesite. The park could well take advantage of the opportunity to reflect on the areas' rich historical legacy from the mining days of Aspen's past. Perhaps it could even become an urban cultural park with exhibitions of mining equipment, tours of the mines, or even demon-

strations of antiquated mining techniques. Certainly the Molly Gibson, and Silverging mines which still catacomb the site played an important role in the town's mining history.
Whatever decision is made concerning the development of the remaining nine acres of the site which have been removed from consideration for building purposes, are sure to assert a strong influence on the remaining 16.5 acres of the site, which are still to be developed on the site at a higher density. The remaining building area will be quite noticeably cramped for open space as a result of this density shift. This should be a major consideration in the design of the housing project, in order to insure adequate views and open space as well as preserving privacy for individual residents.

One area of exciting potential is the development of an irrigation easement to enhance the feeling of an alpine creek flowing through the site. This could be coupled with ponds,(necessary for flood water retention) to create a major water element as a focal point for community recreation.
In winter the pond could be used for skating, hockey and broomball, with the cascading streram forming a sinuous ice sculpture. Summertime would bring opportunities for swimming, flycasting watching ducks, or hours of quiet contemplation and boisterous recreation in the warm sunshine. Above all it should be a place to have funl
Appropriate water management on the site could provide the project with a number necessary features, as well as fortuitous opportunities for site amenities. A drainage control and retention pond system could accomplish several objectives at one time. The site drainage system could prevent soil erosion, channel water away from certain areas, while diverting water for beneficial use in onsite irrigation. In addition the drainages, and streams could be used as organizing elements for pedestrian movement through the complex. The pond or ponds would have even more potential uses, including irrigation water storage, fire fighting resevoir, recreational area, or possibly even as the storage resevoir for a small scale hydro electric demonstration project, or as fish farm and catch and release fishing area.
The development of an unbuilt piece of land perforce involves covering up some quantity of land with materials which block the natural flow of water into the soil. This creates an increased flow in adjacent areas which can become critical during flood conditions. Flood conditions in critical areas can be exacerbated by this additonal flow if the problem is not mitigated through the use of retention ponds to handle these critical circumstances. After flood condtions subside, water can be slowly released, or retained for beneficial use on the site.

Irrigation will be necessary, In order to adequately landscape the site in this delicate arid region, prevent soil erosion, stabilize the soil, provide visual and climactic buffers and enhance the natural aesthetic appeal of the area. Even with the use of indigenous arid plant materials, some irrigation will have to be provided until plants establish themselves, hastening the revegetation process for two or three years. Afterwards irrigation may still be desirable to allow for more intensive gardens to be developed.
Irrigation systems need not be costly, with the most simple form being an unlined earthen trench, with great improvements resulting from the lining or enclosure of water-ways. Gravity fed systems are symple and inexpensive to build and operate, and thus cost effective. Extremely reliable and easy to maintain, PVC trickle systems are mass produced for agricultural and horticultural uses, and are affordable, and expediant ot install while providing exceptional durability.
Other potential water uses include the development of the pond as a fish pond which could be used for catch and release fishing as well for food to demonstrate the feaseability of small scale aquaculture. In addition the posibility of using the retention pond for a small hydroelectric generator might be cost effective, as well as educational for the community in its role as one of the many energy saving and capturing devices incorporated into the overall master plan, for this exemplary public project.

There was a time when people built houses one at a time, from local materials, with the help of neighbors. This approach provided a certain continuity, and virtually guaranteed an appropriate response to regional conditions. Today we often build houses in groups of hundreds or even thousands, with whole neighborhoods, and even entire villages, comprised of the work of a single architect, or group of architects. Communities no longer evolve through a time honored cycle of layering processes, governed primarily by careful expression of individuality in harmony with community interests. Neighborhoods which have not evolved through time often do not express the passage of history, the spirit of the people their beliefs hopes and aspirations,or the relationship of the occupants to the land. Harmony has been replaced by economy.
This situation places a tremendous burden upon the designer to take into account the myriad influences affecting quality housing design. These concerns range from the subtle intimacies of the individual dwelling place, and the feeling of the living community, to broad environmental and technical concerns which embrace, climate, history, landscape, engineering, art and even philosophy. Regional architecture addresses these issues by responding to available and appropriate materials, and construction technology, and often shows a keen understanding of local climate and landforms, finding a simple means to increase comfort and economy simultaneously. This approach to building, has produced much of the beautiful rural landscapes of the world, and can perhaps serve as a model for the architects who design the communities of tomorrow. For the architect is charged with understanding responding to the complex relationships within the communities of mankind and nature, and becomes the ultimate steward of all the resouces of life: air, sun, light, heat, shelter, privacy, community, work recreation, and movement. Such grave responsibi1iies should surely give us cause for intrspection as designers before we endeavor to design whole communities in a single gesture. This project contains all the essential elements which would comprise a small villiage. Houses streets, meeting places, the post offic e and general store, the laundromat the gas pump, and the pre-school these activities constitute the nucleus of a town square which serves the new development while becoming a valuable resource, and meeting place for the entire surrounding neighborhood. This nucleus would define the epicenter of the Smuggler/Red Mountain Neighborhood, establishing it as an autonomous community on "the other side of the river from town". This could have a profound influence on the creation of a permanent neighborhood identity

in an area which is now amorphously defined and lacking continuity. The previous three phases of development in the area proved to be more of a detriment, than a complement to the area and the county has had to completely renovate many units within ten years of initial construction. The expansion of the Smuggler trailer court on the adjacent lot only adds to the visual blight of the neighborhood,g though it is mercifully obscured from the site by dense foliage.The county is hoping that this project will turn over a new leaf,minimizing negative development impacts, while being of sufficient quality to stand the test of time. It is hoped cthat this project can be exemplary in its ability to revitalize the neighborhood and develop a permanent, cohesive community.
The movement towards building complete collective communities is perhaps due to the many benefits it affords its inhabitants.The individual life that influenced the development of American towns has begun to give way to an interest in the benefits to be derived from a close knit community living situation. Many burdens of home ownership are shared collectively
to reduce the burden upon the individual, while providing shared ammenities which are an improvement upon what the individual could hope to achieve individually. Shared resouces of this community could include: Daycare facilities, grocery, gas station, laundry, post office, community room, recreation facilities, guest parking, hot tubs, garden plots, and playgrounds.
Many other benefits also incrue from the development of a well planned community. Land use can be arranged to allow community open spaces which are larger and more useful than postage stamp individual yards. Significant energy savings result from the clustering together of housing to provide protection from the elements and reduction of heat losing building surfaces.C1ustered communities can be easily linked with public transportation, lessening the need for the car. Many family functions can be shared, including daycare, carpooling, shoppingtrips, redding, snow plowing etc. In general it's just nice to have a neighbor aroud when help is needed or assistance can be rendered, for this is the heart of community life.

Energy is the only life...."
Energy is eternal delight.
William Blake

The use of energy and natural resources are closely related in the development of a large housing community, for when I define the use of energy, I think of human energy, as well as thermal and mechanical energy. For example it makes more sense to build a simple well insulated house in Aspen and walk to work, than to build a solar house down-valley and expend the human and mechanical energy to commute 60 -80 miles each day. In this respect the choice of this site demonstrates a strong awareness of a total approach to regional resource planning. The smuggler area master plan calls for the area to to be developed as a close-in urban neighborhood which integrates closely with existing public transportation and services, effectively reducing or eliminating the need for automobile use. In addition close proximity of employee and resident housing to town greatly enhances the ability of people to get to work during severe winter weather.This problem has become critical to local businesses which must operate in all weather, to serve the tourists who come here to re-create, precisely because it does snow so often.The resource of people is vital to power thrrre economy of the town. Thus the location of the development represents a major step in the management of the towns' transportation resources, improving on the current practice of bussing workers from down-valley.
The second area of significant potential for conservation is to match local end use energy needs, with available local supplies. Failure to make this connection in the past has led us to develop centralized power stations and vast networks to distribute this centrally produced power to decentralized locations for end use. In the most exaggerated scenario we are effectively tearing down a mountain of coal to smelt a mountain of iron to build a pipeline to the edge of the earth, to capture oil, which we ship to Japan, only to burn it in power plants which must ship the energy across the land losing much in the transmission process. All this extravagant use of energy and resources to produce energy which might well have been produced on site using simple cost effective means, such as solar energy and wind power. Pitkin county is negotiating to convert the existing dam at Reudi Resevoir into a clean hydroelectric project which would provide a long term, cost effective source of power for the region. This project effectively matches

local resources with needs to take care of most projected demands for electric power.
What remains is the need for thermal energy to provide heat to homes in this cold alpine climate. These needs can be effectively met by matching them to available solar technologies using both active, and passive systems to provide hot water and space heating needs. Although the climate is severe (9,000 d.d.) it is often sunny, and passive solar designs work extremely well, and prove highly cost effective in this area, as do domestic hot water systems. Solar projects have become so popular in the valley, that the area has aquired an international reputation from such innovative institutions such as the Windstar Foundation, and The Colorado Rocky Mountain School, and Colorado Mountain College. These and other innovative projects built in the valley have significantly raised the consciousness of local residents toward solar architecture, and the idea has been widely accepted as a reasonable and affordable approach to housing design. This social barrier already having been overcome has opened the door fo the future development of a community which follows what Amory Lovins has described as the "'soft energy path".
The second path(soft path) combines a prompt and serious commitment to efficient use of energy rapid development of renewable energy sources matched in scale and energy quality to end use needs, and special transitional fossil fuel technologies.This path a whole greater than the sum of its parts, diverges radically from the incremental past practices to pursue short term goals. It does not try to wipe the slate clean, but rather to re-direct our future efforts, taking advantage of the big energy systems we have without multiplying them further.
Amory Lovins Soft Energy Paths
Before attending architecture school I had the good fortune to live for several years in Aspen, while working for the noted Passive Solar Design Consultant, the late Ron Shore. During my tenure ,in Aspen I had the opportunity to work on many of the innovative solar buildings in the roaring fork valley, as well as living in one myself. My experiences there living and

working in solar heated buildings convinced me of the feasibility of this fledgeling technology, only recently being re-discovered and integrated with modern simulation techniques. Also working with me at the Thermatech Corp. were Matt Crosby and Bill Ashton writers of the Solar Soft Computer soft ware system based on the prediction methods of Doug Balcomb of the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. My experiences in the field seemed to verify the acuracy, in fact even the conservative nature of these calculation methods in the prediction of performance for structures with skin dominated heating loads. In fact I found that the house I lived in through one snowy winter significant1youtperformed the predicted performance, Functioning as a virtually 100% solar house when a Solar savings fraction of only 80% had been predicted. These experiences led me to believe, that through the use of certain design approaches the entire region could be virtually self sufficient in the use of home heating energy. I further began to develop an intuitive understanding of passive solar strategies for cold climates which helped me to make the bridge between performance calculations and the immediate experience of day to day living in a Solar environment. These observations helped me to understand the need to integrate completely the architectural and energy concerns of design in order to achieve what I feel is a more balanced aesthetic approach both in the design of individual structures and the overall composition of the landscape. I will use my thesis to study how the use of computer simulation techniques can assure adequate performance characteristics, while allowing the design flexibility to develop buildings whose aesthetics are not overly influenced by solar performance criteria. For this reason I will not expound here extensively on passive solar performance strategies for this climate but rather I will discuss briefly the areas which I will explore in my search to marry aesthetics and performance in an integrated community. A vast array of solar technologies have been employed in the Roaring Fork valley, with varying degrees of success. Solar design has pitfalls as well, and some systems and approaches work far better than others. Passive solar systems are by far the most cost effective method for space heating, as well as domestic hot water systems, though active hot water systems work as well in conditions which do not allow the tank to be placed above the collectors to induce thermosyphoning. Of passive solar houses ones which most closely approach the state of super -insulation which is advocated by Shurcliff seem to show the most favorable performance characteristics, with small temperature swings and slow thermal mas discharge characteristics. Therefore the optimization of thermal insulation is an area which merits significant study in the

schematic design process. Furthermore night insulation plays a critical role in mitigating the the severe effects of diurnal temperature swings on thermal mass storage areas. In fact systems such as trombe walls which function exclusively as solar collection areas are often marginally cost effective without some form of night insu 1 at ion.of all the passive systems, the passive systems in use, water-walls with night insulation have the most dramatic performance characteristics. Systems using a selective surface such as black chrome also show exciting potential though I am not aware of any in use. Other areas which I feel merit study in the development of a new solar aesthetic care the use of color on collection surfaces and the integration of solar collection areas with living and rcirculation spaces. Convective loop design has also become an important factor in the distribution of heated air through out the living space. Although it is difficult to quantify the use of earth berming and earth integration also seem to contribute significantly to solar performance characteristics while minimizing the visual impact of the building on the landscape. The clustering of buildings also helps to minimize the amount of building surface subjected to heat loss, and decrease the heating load on each structure.

The United States might use 30 or 40 percent less energy than it does, with virtually no penalty for the way americans live- save that billions of dollars wi 1 lbespared, save the environment will be less strained, the air less polluted, the dollar under less pressureg, save the growing alarming dependence on OPEC oil will be reduced, and Western society will be les likely to suffer internal and international tension. These are the beefits Americans should be only too happy tp accept.
We also believe that it is possible to meet as much as one fifth of the country's energy needs by the year 2000-in absolute terms, the equivalent of the current amount of imported oil. For 20 the percent to become a reality, a commitment to solar energy will have to become a major aspect of the energy programs of the federal government, aswellas state and local communities. But the commitment may well be worth the effort.
What does stand in the way is the series of economic and institutional barriers, which must be overcome in the early 1980's if solar energy, like conservation is to have a fair chance in the marketplace against conventioal sources. Moreover,the considerable near term and long term potential of solar points toward a more general conclusion. It is not unrealistic to envision a21st century Solar America, a society that relies less on exhaustable hydrocarbons than on renewable rources of energy.
Solar heating is one of the most technologically developed of the on site solar technologies. It is hardly anew technology, but rather represents areturn to the path abandoned only afew hundred years ago. Up to that time most cultures sought to incorporate the sun itself into the design of its architecture
Many people assume that solar energy is something for the future, awaiting atechno1ogica1 breakthrough. That assumption represents agreat misunderstanding for active and passiv e solar energy technology is ahere and now alternative to conventional energy sources. The potential for solar heating is vast because it is well suited to most new residences nad commercial buildings and to about one third of the nations 55million existing dwelling units.
To acheive a 20 percent contribution from solar by the turn of the century, acommitment must be made now to existing technologies. The only realistic two options for the short term are wood and wood waste and on site solar technologies such as as solar heating, small hydropower, and small wind, the short term challenge is not technology, but accelerating diffusion.
Energy Futures, Report from the
Buisiness School 1980

In houses that look toward the south, the sun penetrates the portico in winter, while in the summer, the path of the sun is right over our heads and above the roof so that there is shade.
Socrates, as quoted by Xenophon

In my thesis have outlined my overall philosophy of architecture, and suggested that the way in which we build future communities will have a tremendous impact upon the energy and resources of a larger sphere of influence, on a regional, or even a national, or intenational level. Here I describehow my thesis design meets this challenge, and uses appropriate technology, to integrate architecture, landscape and mankind into a chord, harmonious with nature, the community, and the individual.
Due to the gargantuan scope of my thesis endeavor I have chosen to illustrate my ideas first, showing the overall order of
the housing community which wraps gently around the contours of the landscape. Second, I have taken a sample slice through the entire complex, and illuminated one area at a higher level of detail to demonstate the inner workings of several typical housing clusters. Finally larger scale drawings show the apppearance and aesthetic appeal of the project, taking the form of a continuous walk through the complex, along the pedestian walkway system.
The site was naturally divided into two distinct portions by the canal. The upper portion, adjacent to wilderness lands is unbuildable, riddled by mineshafts and represents the wildness and purity of wilderness itself. The land below the canal oriented towards spectacular views, and bordering directly on the bustling City of Aspen, is the area I have chosen to develop intensively as a nucleus for the Smuggler Mountain neighborhood. This portion of the project represents the vitality of the city and civilization itself.
The infrastructure developed for the community is based primarilly on pedestrian and vehicular circulation. Special emphasis has been placed on solar orientation, and open space. Arrival at the complex is facilitated by the placement of a campanile in the center of the community to provide avisual reference point which serves to guide the visitor through the twisting array of roads which lead to the project. Roads have been minimized, with only one additional roadway required to serve the entire area. Arriving visitors pass by the commercial center which is located centrally at the base of the natural amphitheatre where most of the projects' housing is sited.

Guests arrive under protective canopies which form gateways to each individual portion of the community. Uphill parking is handled by a subgrade parking structure with a covered entry stair which takes residents to level walkways which connect the houses. Downslope parking is covered by a trellis canopy, from here residents proceed down sunny southside walkways to their homes. Entries are further defined by large semi-private terraces which open off courtyards defined by building clusters. These terraces help to heighten the sense of transition into each dwelling, and increase the feeling of privacy for each occupant.
Housing designs are based on a simple 16'x 16'module, with studio, one, two and three bedroom units available in two sizes each, with all units designed off of the same basic form. Living spaces are grouped together to provide at least one large room for each small house. Flexibility is planned into the complex with provisions for residents to individualize their homes with special entry treatments and extra skylights or dormers. Hip roofs in combination with flat roofs provide a formal unity and overlying order, designed to create a feeling of neighborhood unity. The complex is further unified by use of similar materials, red, split face concrete forms a rusticated base, board and batten siding is capped by standing seam metal roofs, which join the houses and meet the sky.
The three terraces into which the hill is divided form the platforms for three levels of housing, each served by both vehicular roads and pedesrian walkways. Outdoor recreation areas, and playgrounds link the complex, with laundry, hot tubs, and communal living room provided at each cluster entry point. The focal point of the project is a stream which descends from the canal and brings water to a crystaline pool in the heart of the community. This pond futher serves to detain floodwaters, as well as for recreational and irrigation purposes, and provides a snow storage area which drains naturally into the pond.
In closing, I have tried to glorify the mundane, and cerimonia1izethe ordinary, in hopes of providing dignity, self respect and a clear feeling of community to a building type which has often proved to be banal. In the overall order of the community I have attempted to provide the balance between community and individual, using a clear hierarchy of spaces and experiences to provide a place of beauty and constant delight in which to live, in harmony with the world around.

Find the simplest shortest means between the earth, the and the mouth.
Lanza del Vasto

McHarg,Ian Design with Nature Doubleday,Garden City NJ,1971
Balcomb,Douglas Passive Solar Design Handbook Vol.1&2 U.S. Dept.of Energy,Washington D.C. 1982
Anderson,Bruce,The Solar Home Book Cheshire Books,Harisville,NH 1976
Mazria,Edward,The Passive Solar Energy Book Rodale Press,Emmaus,PA 1979
Olgay,Victor,Design With Climate
Princeton University Press,Princeton,NJ 1976
Giovani,B.,Man Climate and Architecture Allied Science Publishers Ltd.,London 1976
Kreider,Jan,Frank Kreith,Solar Energy Handbook McGraw Hill,NY 1981
Banham,Reyner,The Architecture of a Well Tempered Space The Architectural Press, London 1979
Leckie,Jim,Masters,Whitehouse,Young,Other Homes and Garbage Sierra Club Books,SanFrancisco,CA 1975
McGuinness, Stein & Reynolds,Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for BuildingsJohn Wiley and Sons,NY 1980

Pena,William,Problem Seeking
Cahners Books International,Boston,MA 1972
Alexander,Christopher,Sarah Ishakowa,Murray Silverstein A Pattern Language, N.Y. Oxford Press, 1977




*T *