Steep Grade, Simple Design - Design Bureau

Scholl 2 House by Studio B Architects

Scholl 2 House by Studio B Architects

Scholl 2 House by Studio B Architects

Scholl 2 House by Studio B Architects

Scholl 2 House by Studio B Architects

Scholl 2 House by Studio B Architects

Scholl 2 House by Studio B Architects

Scholl 2 House by Studio B Architects

Scholl 2 House by Studio B Architects

Steep Grade, Simple Design

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

In the early stages of its planning, the owners of the Scholl 2 house approached Scott Lindenau, founder and design principle of Studio B Architects, with a book. One look at the architecture within its pages, and Lindenau was sold.

It was a collection of the Case Study Houses of the 1950s. These experimental homes were built and designed by architecture luminaries like Charles Eames, Craig Ellwood, Pierre Koenig and Richard Neutra. The clients, avid art collectors living between Aspen and Miami, appreciated the low-profile architecture with its signature simple forms, large spanning interiors, exposed structure, and floor-to-ceiling windows and doors. For the Scholl 2 house, the homeowners wanted Lindenau to translate the same design principles into a home on a steep site in an architecturally conservative Aspen neighborhood.

I think this distilled the design problem down to its essence, and it’s a very clear solution.
—Scott Lindenau, Principal

The designs of the original Case Study Houses took the environment into consideration, a forward-thinking idea for the time period. Scholl 2 followed suit, with environmental awareness informing the choice of high-efficiency boiler systems, triple pane glass and spray-in insulation in its walls, roof and ceilings. The home’s luxurious interior boasts darkened oak flooring and Carerra marble, while the home’s exterior is composed of custom zinc panels, a concrete base, and aluminum windows and doors. Studio B eschewed wood for the exterior of the home, as Aspen’s hot summers and cold winters would have made it a high-maintenance choice. Lindenau’s careful choice of materials complete his “very simple, mercurial palette,” and he says that these choices will help the home maintain its crisp look even ten years from now.

Lindenau notes that the project posed a few challenges for him and his team. “The site itself was very tricky because it’s steep,” Lindenau says. Studio B used the potential stumbling block to its advantage by mimicking the natural contours of the hillside and engineering a structure that sits off-kilter in relation to nearby houses. The slight adjustments revealed access to incredible mountain views.

Lindenau describes the layout of the Scholl 2 residence as “a plinth with a rectangle sitting up top.” Its simplicity is his favorite element: “I think this distilled the design problem down to its essence, and it’s a very clear solution,” he says.  The Scholl 2 house’s stylistic nods to the ’50s, yet decidedly modern detailing, reflect both an awareness of history and a willingness to explore new ideas.

Text by Amy Anderson, a Texas-based freelance writer and editor. See more of  her work at www.amyandersonwrites.com.
Photographs by Aspen Architectural Photography

 

Tagged with: