In the early 1950s, Walter Paepcke, the founder of Aspen Institute, commissioned the renowned Bauhaus architect and artist Herbert Bayer to transform farmland into a secluded destination where visitors could take a step back from their hurried lives and reflect upon a variety of important issues they faced.
Bayer was an influential modern artist and designer who studied and taught at the Bauhaus, an art school that was radical in its uniting of art, craft, and technology in the years following the World War I. Bayer emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1938, and then relocated to Colorado in 1946.
Describing Aspen Meadows as a “total work of art,” Bayer wove outdoor walkways through his landscape architecture to remind visitors of their relationship with nature, mind and body – which became known as the Aspen Idea. The grounds are rich with Bauhaus architecture and outdoor sculptures, and there is also an extensive collection of artwork found inside every building. To this day, the resort hosts the Institute’s famed array of programming, including the Aspen Ideas Festival.
Chicago businessman Walter Paepcke (1896-1960), Chairman of the Container Corporation of America, first visited Aspen, Colorado in 1945. Inspired by its great natural beauty, he envisioned it as an ideal gathering place for thinkers, leaders, artists, and musicians from all over the world to step away from their daily routines and reflect on the underlying values of society and culture. He dreamed of transforming the town into a center for dialogue, a place for "lifting us out of our usual selves," as one visitor to Paepcke's Aspen would put it.
In recent years, the Aspen Institute has committed to preserving and celebrating Aspen Meadows’ historic significance. In 2022, the Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies debuted on-site as a new cultural destination, and restoration work recently concluded on Bayer’s “Marble Garden” sculpture, which sits at the heart of the property.
Aspen Meadows Resort also features a variety of amenities, including spectacular mountain views at its signature restaurant, a fitness center and spa services, an outdoor pool and hot tub, five tennis courts, and 22,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and function space. Long a proponent of sustainable travel, the property switched in 2020 to using 100 percent clean electricity. Averaging 600 square feet, the resort’s 98 spacious all-suite accommodations are noted for their effortless functionality, elegant nature-inspired design, and abundant natural light, balconies and terraces.