Solar-powered Colorado school houses sun-soaked learning environment

Solar-powered Colorado school houses sun-soaked learning environment

Photo courtesy of Inhabitat

It’s hard to compete with the gorgeous views of Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley, but architecture firm Studio B appears to have succeeded in complementing the landscape with their redesign of the Aspen Community School.

Recipient of numerous AIA Colorado awards, the Aspen Community School is a light-filled learning environment in Woody Creek, a remote village northwest of Aspen, reports Inhabitat.

Powered by rooftop solar panels, the new building is a renovation and expansion of an existing school for children from kindergarten through eighth grade. 

Surrounded by mountains, the Aspen Community School enjoys magnificent views in all directions.

Studio B renovated the school, which was founded in 1970 and comprised a series of small timber-framed buildings, and added a new academic building and gymnasium. The architects worked closely with the community and school staff in a collaborative design process to achieve a “reinforced sense of campus and community.”

The architects used a low-maintenance and earthy materials palette comprising rusted metal shingles, fiber-cement board and Western red cedar siding on the building facades to match the surrounding landscape. Warm-toned timber lines the interior and is used for furnishing. 

Rooftop solar tops the new 13,500-square-foot academic building, while ample natural light flows through the clerestories and large glazed surfaces.



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