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Back Country Ski Patrol Center: The Beacon of the Slopes

by Audrey Sato — Finalist

SLIDE 1: SUMMARYSLIDE 2: SITING AND SUSTAINABLE STRATEGIESSLIDE 3: PLANS AND RENDERSLIDE 4: ELEVATIONS AND RENDER


Description
“Safety and service”, the motto of the National Ski Patrol, ultimately speaks of the readiness of ski patrol personnel to prevent and respond to emergencies on the slopes. Thus the design of the center envisions the building as a beacon, whether it be for those lost in the wilderness, or to cheery skiers on the bunny slopes, looking up to see a reassuring sign of safety. In an emergency, flood lights transform a circulation and viewing tower into a shining lighthouse, a homing device for the lost.

The environmental impact of the center must be considered, as the building sits within pristine wilderness. Through its siting, minimal footprint, and other design strategies, the building aims to achieve a performance similar to its appearance: one of “growing” from the earth. The main green design feature is a perforated trombe wall system, where stone walls provide thermal mass while perforations allow lighting effects and views. In addition, materials selection, photovoltaic panels, permeable ground surfaces, and its earth-embedded structure lessen the project's environmental impact.


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