Art, Architecture, Aspen

Modern in Denver and Signature Windows + Doors take Local Designers to Aspen for Art and Architecture Tour

Photos: Modern In Denver

Not every state has a nucleus of modern design hidden away in the mountains. But Colorado does. Which is why we jumped at the chance to partner with Signature Windows + Doors to take a small group of architects and designers on a midweek getaway to Aspen. On the itinerary? Architecture, art, and a groundbreaking atlas.

The first stop for our group of 14 was to visit a Roaring Fork Valley residence in Carbondale. Designed by Surround Architecture and built by Ram Development, this wood- and steel-clad multi-volume home sits adjacent to the River Valley Ranch golf course. The homeowners wanted an abundance of glazing in their new home (which was completed in 2018), and, once there, it was easy to see why. Glass walls, windows, and doors by Marvin frame unmatched views of neighboring Mt. Sopris.

Following a picnic lunch in the historic railroad town of Basalt, the group headed to the Aspen Art Museum to attend “The State of the Art of Architecture” presented by the AIA Colorado in partnership with Rowland+Broughton and CORE, a nonprofit focusing on carbon-free, net zero energy initiatives in the Roaring Fork Valley. The panel-style presentation was divided into three parts—Residential, Commercial, and Public—with design experts in each area speaking to a full house about the most pressing matters in the built environment today, including sustainability, equity, and policy.


The next day we visited the Aspen Institute, where landscape architect Ann Mullins took us on a private tour of the 40-acre Bauhaus-inspired, Herbert Bayer-designed campus. Beginning in 1945 and working closely with industrialist Walter Paepcke (founder of the Container Corporation of America and known as the father of modern Aspen), Bayer designed the campus to meet the Bauhaus aspiration for “a total work of art” and Paepcke’s vision of a place for mind, body, and spirit. These organizing principles are seen and felt in the campus architecture and its several earthworks, including Bayer’s “Grass Mound,” “Kaleidoscreen,” “Marble Sculpture Garden,” and “Sgraffito Wall.” The tour culminated at the new Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies, where Mullins led the group through the multimedia exhibition “Concept of a Visualist: Herbert Bayer’s World Geo-Graphic Atlas,” which remains up at the Center through April 27, 2024 (you can read more about the atlas and exhibition in our summer issue, here).

A big thank you to Signature Windows + Doors for hosting our design-filled excursion, and to everyone who came on the journey with us. Here’s to seeing more world-class architecture right in our own backyard!