In line with R+B’s fundamental belief in historic preservation and the creation of timeless architecture, the design team embraced the task of addressing two visually opposed historic buildings, the Hotel Jerome and the Aspen Times Building, for this singular addition and restoration project.
A true Aspen landmark built in 1889, Hotel Jerome’s stately brick façade set the challenge of designing a multiple-suite and gathering place addition that responded to and highlighted the existing structure in style and demeanor. The restoration and repurposing of the adjacent historic 1904 Aspen Times building as a speakeasy and entertainment venue meant respecting and enhancing its informal, historic wood façade. In addition, redesigning a central garden courtyard encompassing a pool and providing outdoor restaurant seating, presented additional challenges.
Designed as an extension of the courtyard, the new three-story Suites building features cedar siding specially stained to complement the red brick siding of the existing hotel. An informal, Accoya hardwood screen on the façade functions as a vertical garden trellis, meant to encourage the courtyard and to grow up the building. Interior palette, millwork, finishes and furnishings take their cue from the original hotel, for which R+B completed a full interior renovation in 2012.
The restoration of the historic Aspen Times Building provides a timeless addition to the Hotel Jerome. Extraneous exterior additions were removed, and a steel super-structure was installed to allow the original building to once again stand on its own. Original wood siding was preserved and re-detailed. Historic windows once hidden or removed were replaced with new wood windows. A new metal roof was added to reflect the historic vernacular. A new sliding barn door system was added to the original garden-facing wall to create permeability or enclosure as needed. Interior architectural design for the speakeasy, called Bad Harriet, was inspired by the Victorian period in which the building was constructed. In collaboration with TAL Studio, interior spaces feature complementary yet relevant materials and detailing, including mirrored wall panels with polished accents, Bruna Terra Leather stone bar top and painted wood trim.
Renovations to the courtyard area, which previously turned its back on the Aspen Times Building, included raising the interior portion to improve accessibility and repositioning the pool. Now offering a 360-degree experience, including improved connectivity to Main Street, the courtyard has become locally known as “Aspen’s Front Yard.”
Overall, the interior program of the project includes eight hotel suites, a speakeasy bar, two meeting spaces, two catering kitchens, two means of egress, an elevator and stairways.