Residential Gardens

Highlands Retreat

Pitkin County, Colorado

A home in nature

Highlands Retreat is an endearing family refuge set within the protective canopy of a mature aspen forest. Surrounded by red sandstone cliffs and steep, rugged slopes, the landscape architect’s sensitive site planning and design was highly influenced by the property’s seasonal changes, filtered sunlight, and existing natural systems. A diverse and complex ecosystem of rich, organic soils teeming with grasses, forbs, and wildflowers sets the stage for a carefully crafted and environmentally sensitive design, one that proffers both a sense of adventure and peace to the owners and their guests.

Inherent in the design is the cultivation of a very simple yet sophisticated indoor-outdoor living experience for the family and their guests. A collaborative effort combining the creative talents of the landscape architect and architect, the home presents a refreshing vision of mountain architecture, one that engages the landscape in a manner that respects the natural history and cultural heritage of the surrounding environment. Outdoor spaces weave into the forest and wildflower meadows, giving the home a sense of permanence and enduring character. Modern interpretations of form and material combined with intentional additions of traditional elements imbue the home with a warm and welcoming sense of calm.

“Nestled within an aspen forest, Highlands Retreat is the culmination of a fruitful collaboration between architect and landscape architect to stitch together the boundaries between natural and built environments. Careful consideration of siting, approach, and understory management yield a mountain homestead deferential to its setting, yet this project seems to have a delineation of its immediate surrounds and then a release to nature where the feeling becomes one of total immersion.” – National ASLA Professional Awards Jury

Services Provided: Site Analysis, Master Planning, Zoning & Land Use Approvals, Site Planning, Conceptual Design, Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents, Permitting, Bidding/Negotiations, Construction Observation, Grading & Drainage Plans, Landscape Architecture, Lighting Design


  • Honor Award for Residential Design, ASLA National
  • Honor Award for Residential Design, ASLA Colorado
  • Regional Award for Outdoor Living, LUXE Residential Excellence in Design
  • Merit Award for Residential Design, World Landscape Architecture


Eigelberger Architecture and Design, KL&A Structural Engineers, Brikor Associates, Roaring Fork Engineering, Timberline Pools and Spas, Down to Earth