Thursday, September 8, 2011

Stillwater Affordable Housing Project - Pitkin County, Colorado

Years back, Green Line Principal, Steve Novy, was project architect on an affordable housing project on the outskirts of Aspen.  It was part of a subdivision created by the legendary architect Fritz Benedict.  He and his wife Fabby dedicated a sizable portion of land, right along the Roaring Fork River east of Aspen, to affordable housing.
Perspective Rendering of Neighborhood

The county wanted to create comfortable, aesthetically appropriate homes that were energy-efficient, environmentally sensitive, and healthy - with clean indoor air.  We established a program that included 17 units, a mix of 1, 2, and 3-bedroom layouts.  
One of the wealthy neighbors objected to the project, and held County to the letter of the law with regard to a "natural materials setback."  There was a setback in which only natural materials were allowed.  We didn't see this as a problem, since we were using all natural materials.  Or, so we thought.  It was argued that the composite roofing is not natural, and the only truly natural roofing material that could be used was slate tiles!  (not exactly an appropriate material for an affordable housing project)
Site Plan - showing 17 units

The project was built...   at 13 units, and it has gotten rave reviews.
In fact, it was reported in todays' Aspen Daily News that Pitkin County commissioners will be using this project as a model for new affordable housing projects they will be building in the near future.  Aspen Daily News Article.

Here's what they said:
"The commissioners agreed that the ideal investment would be to buy land and then build new housing on it, modeled after the county’s 13-unit Stillwater project east of Aspen."
Duplex West Elevation