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Granite Point: Back-Country Ski Patrol and Operations Center

by Anthony Varela — Finalist

Introduction and Site AnalysisSustainable PrinciplesBuilding ABuilding B

While visiting typical ski lodges, one is generally left feeling as if they stepped into a dark and dank cave. To counteract this feeling, I have made it my challenge to find a new way to approach the modern day ski patrol facility. Utilizing forward thinking sustainability principles, a localized material palette, and a minimally clean and sharp style, I have managed to create a building that will serve the patrol and maintenance crews as they serve the local recreation goers. There are three functions I have chosen to focus on while completing this project: Design, Form, and Material Palette.
I have broken the program up into two seperate groups, ski patrol and first aid in Building A, maintenance and avalanche control in Building B. Both building plans were stretched along the contoured terrain. The occupied space was given priority to the exterior slope-ward sides of the building, while the services were tucked into the interiors. This allowed for maximum exposure to views and day lighting possibilities. Between the occupied spaces and service spaces in Building A, a common area was created with clerestory windows opposite of a mezzanine level bringing light deep into interior of the building. Building B's upper floor was situated around an exterior courtyard, continuing maximum exposure to views and day lighting.
Carrying on the discussion of design, we must think of form. Typical alpine design says you have to have a pitched roof to handle snow loads, which also looks to resemble the mountainous forms. However, I have always thought the best way to compliment the landscape is not to copy, but to instead, to give it accent. The grandeur of the mountains is enough beauty to take in, so it is not the role of the building to compete with this and vie for attention. I wanted the building to have a simplistic elegance. This is translated in the low, elongated form. The form offers its compliments by the contrast in shape to the mountain. The elegance is left to the detailing and choice of materials.
Conditions on the mountain can be quite harsh. Therefore it is important the building be built to withstand, in both function and expression. The choice was to use a local stone to clad the exterior which bolsters the strength and integrity of the building. Inside however, is detailed with local reclaimed wood offering a soft and warn feel to combat the cave like dwellings normally found in the mountains.

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