Aspen Middle School

Aspen, Colorado

  • FIRM

    Studio B Architects


    Aspen School District

  • AREA

    113,000 sq.ft.





The new Aspen Middle School building enhances the Aspen School District’s emphasis on creative classroom learning, outdoor education and environmental responsibility. A comfortable and stimulating environment is achieved with ample daylighting, improved indoor air quality, new high-efficiency building and technology systems, better access and security, and views and ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMHutton Ford Architects, Architect of RecordCAPACITY500COST PER SQ FT$252.00CITATIONMiddle School CitationFEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio that connect the building’s users to the surrounding mountain landscape.

The architectural vocabulary of the new building reinforces the campus image established by other buildings on the school district’s campus. Regionally manufactured brick, metal panels, translucent panels and aluminum-framed, high-performance glazing are modern and durable, and low- and no-maintenance materials sheath the building’s exterior surfaces. The extended canopy identifies the main east-facing entry, and the adjacent arcade provides a safe, visible, protected shelter for student dropoff and pickup. Light louvers, solar shades and “tuned” high-performance glazing control the effects of the sun around the facility.

Natural light and views, and operable windows are provided to all educational spaces. Window openings and sun-shade devices respond to the solar orientation and create a distinctive aesthetic. Wherever possible, sustainable materials such as bamboo, recycled content flooring and ceiling tiles are incorporated into the design. In many instances, cabinets from the old facility were reused in the new building. All new casework was formaldehyde-free. Interior materials use low-VOC paints, finishes and adhesives. High-efficiency mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems integrate innovative products and techniques such as solar air heating, waterless urinals, occupancy sensors and solar tubes to make this the most energy-efficient classroom building on campus.

These combined strategies will result in a high-performance building that reduces almost 1 million pounds of CO2 per year, reduces water usage by 40 percent, and reduces stormwater runoff by 25 percent. The project received LEED gold certification.