High Points: Tim Hagman — A Life Well Lived | AspenTimes.com
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High Points: Tim Hagman — A Life Well Lived

Each day, as I awake, a small, divided window high on the east side of my house captures the morning sun and paints a picture with light upon the interior of my bedroom’s western wall. The light moves across the room as the sun progresses each morning, providing a different illuminated pattern as it shines on the various angles of the walls and roof lines. And, as the seasons change and the world turns, so too does the place where that light lingers in the room.

It is a joy in my life that is both beautiful and reaffirming. Each day starts with a connection to nature and the movement of the earth.

For this gift I am indebted to the man who designed it, Tim Hagman, one of the Valley’s most significant architects, who passed away in October. He will be remembered at a gathering of family and friends in Carbondale this weekend.



Throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, in the buildings that Tim designed and built, there are countless small details that mirror that window of light in my bedroom. The homes he designed will live long after, and each day people will awake in them, as I do, nurtured by his talent, his creativity, and his dedication to getting things right. His attention to creating places and spaces of beauty was his gift to all of us who were lucky enough to have Tim in our lives. Some of the homes, like mine, were modest, while others were more opulent, but each celebrated the personality of the architect who created them and received his complete focus.

When we first hired Tim to design our home we asked him to come up with a log cabin kind of “Californian comes to the mountains” home. He did as we asked but encouraged us to spend some time on our land. We erected a teepee and came away with a very different perspective. We went back to see Tim and, over a beer, told him of our change of heart. He took out a pen, took the napkin in front of him and drew three lines. A peaked roof fronted by a curved roof. It was as simple as it was brilliant . The peak is where the window that lights my mornings lives to this day. And beyond.




But perhaps Tim’s greatest contribution to those of us in this valley are the community buildings he designed to enhance our minds, bodies and spirits. As I write this, and you read it, in both the Aspen and Snowmass Recreation Centers that Tim designed, people are swimming, skating, lifting weights and doing yoga. These were perfect projects for Tim as he was an avid athlete himself and the buildings reflect those aspects of his passions. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved to ski, hike and most of all ride the rivers in his kayak. I have joyous memories of running into him on Snowmass and skiing the powder in Garrett’s Gulch.

At ACES, Tim created the main reception building that was a continuation of the close ties that Tim had to the last generation, the greatest generation if you will, of Aspenites, including Herbert Bayer who Tim apprenticed for and Elizabeth “Pussy” Paepcke who created ACES. That building will serve the community for many years to come.

Finally, Tim also leaves another legacy, his sons Alex and Jonathan, who are much beloved contributors in this Valley as the next generation of Hagmans

A quiet, funny, and unassuming soul, Tim Hagman lived a full life and left us much. He will be missed but remembered, at least in my house, with each sunrise.


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