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Planar is located on a previously disturbed 0.11-acre site at the base of Shadow Mountain in Aspen, Colorado. The mountain, whose name originates from the long shadow it casts on the town in the winter months, is steeply sloped in distinctive planes.  Once the location of infrequent mining, rock and soil detritus from the exploration settled at the mountain’s base on, above and around the site. Mudflows, at high risk due to the mountain’s steepness and the loose soils, historically followed paths across the site. Stormwater also crosses the site and pools in its low areas. The garden’s design is inspired by this context and each element and form is the result of purposeful design deduction.


The landscape design begins with a simplified plane that is then folded and moved, layered with program and spatial definition to create a resolved, yet minimalist design. The planar folds direct stormwater through a series of bio-checks, dams, spills to retain and infiltrate water into the soil and create uptake for plants. The primary folded plane, reinforced with a concrete wall, protects the residence from mudflows. Simple mass plantings and a restrained materials palette of concrete, rustic wood and plate steel add texture and definition to the planes. Planar is a garden uniquely of its site and context.



project type: residential, landscape architecture

location: aspen, colorado

client: withheld by request

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