Building an Argument in Aspen

Recently selected by Aspen local architect Larry Yaw, FAIA of CCY Architects as a “favorite Valley structure” and featured in the Aspen Sojourner article “Building an Argument,” the 22,000 sf Basalt Regional Library is a true gathering place for the area’s diverse community.

As part of their design vision, the OZ/A4 team saw the library as a literal junction of several elements:  Community, Sustainability, Education, Nature, Arts/Culture and Technology.  Putting all these elements together seamlessly creates an inviting, energizing environment that stimulates thought, creates a haven for gaining and sharing knowledge, and connects directly to the beautiful outdoor setting for the Library.

With the Rocky Mountains in the background and overlooking the nearby Roaring Fork River, the Library takes full advantage of its orientation to both.  The sloped roof rises to the north to frame dramatic views beyond tall expanses of glass.  Nature is brought inside the library through the use of local natural materials and finishes and a small grove of aspen tree trunks “planted” under a skylight to form a unique reading area that echoes the region’s natural beauty.

The main stack and reading room center the library, and both the Community Room and the lobby area are designed for flexible uses and configurations for community functions.  Interior spaces are designed to provide spacious settings for educational events, art displays, and neighborhood meetings.  Materials such as a copper wall, slatted rain screens, and local aspen paneling incorporate natural finishes with a meticulous attention to detail.

Mr. Yaw was quoted in the article as saying the Basalt Library anticipates “an emerging civic character where modern and historic forms can be successfully integrated.” OZ considers that a humbling compliment from a well-respected peer.