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We need truly new homes

Why are all the homes in the Aspen area so dull? Maybe there are excuses for the simpleminded, outdated, unimaginative homes in neighboring communities, but why in Aspen?

Before I get my foot in my mouth further, let me apologize to those homeowners in and around Aspen who have nice homes. Some of your homes are not only pleasant, but in a few cases they are almost interesting. And most people, even rich ones, should live in ordinary houses.

What is strange is that no one in the area, even those folks with lots of money, seems to want to be a leader in residential housing. Surely, there is at least one family willing to build a home that will go down in the history books as one of the first homes built in keeping with this new century.

Nice, flashy, imitation California-style houses won’t qualify. Nice, squat, rambling Frank Lloyd Wright houses won’t do. Nice, stark flat-looking Bauhaus places won’t do. In all these cases, “nice” gets equated with “blah” in my book.

Let me also apologize to the homeowners who are proud of their imitation log or Victorian houses. And there are lots of owners with nice masonry and nice rectangular windows on the outside and nice countertops and nice faucets – on the inside. Furthermore, some of your rectangular walls and rooms with lots of right angles ramble around in very nice ways. But by my terms, all those niceties only add up to dull.

The curve has been around for some time, angles other than 90 degrees can probably be handled by some newer computer programs – and concrete, cables, plastics and other materials are available for some sculpturing. Furthermore, what’s wrong with lots of color? Make your house fit into the natural world – fitting to flowers, not the earth (dirt).

Movement? Why does your house always face one direction. Why can’t the bedroom rise to the top of the house after you turn the thermostat down – ready for the morning sun?

Is there a law against using an imaginative engineer in designing your next home? What’s wrong with getting an imaginative sculptor involved in creating a home that is more than an assortment of rectangular spaces crashing into each other at strange angles – capped with pointy trusses?

Do you get the idea? I’m talking about real change – building a home that you would proudly declare as fitting to this century. Maybe the first truly new home in the world!

Anyone interested in communicating about all this? Architects, home buyers, dreamers? Write me at Box 201 in Aspen 81612 or look up my number in the phone book.

Stirling Cooper

Glenwood Springs


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