Our friends are natural desert rats, leaping into the adventure with curiosity and zest. Soon they can discern constructed stone walls from natural rock faces. And spot hidden ancestral puebloan markings among cracks on shadowy cliffs.
Bucksbaum Campus Phase 2 – In progress June, 2016
Aspen Music Festival and School, Castle Creek, Aspen
40BWORKS serves as the Landscape Architect for Phase 2 of the Bucksbaum Campus of the Aspen Music Festival and School, designed by Harry Teague, Architects. Phase 2 involved the construction of a composition of new buildings around the significant large ponds. The entire central area of the Campus is primarily a pedestrian environment.
While the buildings are complete, planting on Campus is still in progress. Here, freshly-placed sod gleams.
Ever-changing reflections in the ponds create another dimension of experience (during construction).
Planting in Phase 1 is taking hold, restoring the wild natural feel of the riparian environment surrounding Castle Creek as it runs through Campus.
It’s exciting to see wildflowers like this Firecracker Penstemon, and Rosy Paintbrush (not shown) blooming in the Campus specific wildflower mix, sown in Phase 1.
Pitkin County Library, Aspen – Opening Celebration, June 19
I worked on the Pitkin County Library Expansion project when I was at Design Workshop. I led a phase of planning approvals, landscape conceptual and schematic design and design development. The construction drawing and observation phase was completed by Design Workshop.
It was a rewarding experience to attend the opening celebration and congratulate board members, library and county staff, and consultants. All worked with dedication to evolve the early vision into a constructed reality for the entire community and visitors.
The library expansion opens on to a public plaza, merging indoor with outdoor space. In particular, the children’s room has a small sunken garden amphitheater for outdoor reading and activities.
Patrons, board members and the community are excited to explore this new facility for the 22nd century!
The roof reading garden features great views over the public plaza and towards the town and mountains.
In early summer, the mountains near Crested Butte are ablaze with colorful wildflowers. The lush green valleys, high basins and snowy peaks beckon keen hikers and bikers. I started my trip at Maroon Lake near Aspen, an area that is well known for viewing the scenic Maroon Bells, wandering the short hike to Crater Lake or embarking on the longer trek over West Maroon Pass to Crested Butte. It was approximately 6.5 gorgeous miles and almost 3,000 feet elevation gain to the top of West Maroon Pass at 12,500 feet. Crossing the chilly knee-high creek waters and navigating a few remaining avalanche-path snow fields, added to the interest of the hike. Marsh marigolds and buttercups were highlights near the still moist trail.
From the pass, it was a delightful descent into the East Fork valley. Columbines, paintbrush, and gentian among many other blooms invited me to linger in the meadows en route to Schofield Pass Road. It was early evening when I reached my camp for the night next to East River, above Gothic. As I was setting up my small tent, thunder that had been rumbling in the background was suddenly upon me and huge raindrops were falling all around. The evening storm brought a stunning double rainbow, followed by a vivid pink glow in the sky that was also reflected in the water. It was a fitting finale to a beautiful day.
The following morning, two hiking friends picked me up and we headed to Rustler Gulch trailhead. We left the main trail shortly and followed a ridge to the east, to ascend unnamed peak 13,010. High snowy mountains surrounded us: we were immersed in magnificent wilderness. Our descent was via a magical jewel-like high lake in which patterns of white puffy clouds played teasingly. To return, we negotiated avalanche-carried tree stumps down a steep slope, regaining the lower flower filled meadows near Rustler’s Gulch.