From the outside this wooden cabin-in-the-forest is interesting to be sure, but nothing extraordinary. It is easy to see once inside, however, how this unusual wood-and-stone vacation home came to be known as the Magic Mushroom House. The decor is certainly a trip, the looming masonry fireplace is shaped like a gigantic fungus and the original structure itself dates back to the swinging seventies.
Eclectic to the extreme, the house sports fixtures from various stylistic eras infused with a distinctly dated set of interior decoration strategies – including a built-in water-bed as well as a smattering of free-love (read: sexual) imagery. A central gathering area (dubbed the ‘love pit’) comes complete with shag carpet and seating around the central chimney stack and itself surrounded by a series of railing-free balconies (nicknamed ‘go-go platforms’).
Sitting somewhere on the border of comfy and kitschy, the home is constructed of a combination of curved wooden beams and rough-cut stone structural supports. First constructed and lived in by architect Andre Ulrych, the house recently passed to new owners who converted the retreat into their own part-time private vacation property.
Originally thought by the real estate agent representing the property to be a tear-down home, the new owners fell in love with the offbeat nature of the design, the naturalistic local materials used in its construction and the curious mix of styles built into it from the inside out.
From The New York Times:
“Built over several years beginning in 1973, the circular house coils around itself, with rooms and railing-less balconies that Ms. Findlay refers to as ‘go-go platforms’ constituting 12 levels. Ladders and narrow stairways lead to other platforms, and small loftlike spaces, making sure footing essential. The outside profile as well as the hallucinogens so popular in that era inspired its nickname, the magic mushroom house, but the house’s architect, builder and first resident, Andre Ulrych, told the Findlays that he took his design cues from a nautilus shell.”
“Mr. Ulrych, a Polish émigré who owned Andre’s, one of Aspen’s most colorful night spots, from 1980 to the early 1990s, was a student of sacred geometry and wanted to create a spiritually powerful structure that imitated the proportions and geometric progression of the logarithmic spiral that is found in the shell as well as elsewhere in nature. He seems to have succeeded.”