new aspen art museum

The new Aspen Art Museum project mixes elegant streetscape and roof terrace design with highly functional urban stormwater bioretention, the first in Aspen and the High Rockies. Working alongside the Museum and Shigeru Ban Architects, Bluegreen develops dynamic and ample public spaces on the ground and on the Museum’s roof deck for gathering, relaxation, and engagement with art. Bioretention cells along Spring Street and Hyman Avenue treat stormwater with native plant material and soften the plaza with lush landscape. A keen attention to detail solidifies the design. Pervious paving, refined steel weirs, and a custom modular bench enrich the space and ensure it is used not only by Museum visitors but by the community. This key development for downtown Aspen serves as an excellent example of collaborative community-building as well as a model for future innovative streetscape design.

The new Aspen Art Museum is a seamless integration of architecture, landscape, and art. The integrity of the museum is apparent in a thoughtful composition of honest materials. The minimalist approach carefully amplifies the senses through sound, light, texture, movement, and scent. Transparency, innovation, and durability are fundamental principles of the design. Transparent systems are exposed and layered to express materiality, detail, and function. Intelligent and flexible methods anticipate future changes and reveal innovative solutions. Durability is evident in the native, modular, and adaptable spaces. The processes on site will evolve over time as seasons change, materials interact and age and people experience the compelling landscape.

The project is featured in the September 2014 edition of Architectural Record, is the recipient of a 2017 AIA award, and a 2015 Colorado Chapter of the ASLA Merit award.


project type: landscape architecture

location: aspen, colorado

client: aspen art museum